European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič is in Belgium today for the next leg of the Energy Union tour – he is there to discuss the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy.
Ahead of the visit, Vice-President Šefčovič said:
Europe is forging ahead with the clean energy transition. Whether it is with politicians, energy stakeholders or citizens, I look forward to discussing how it can be best driven in Belgium. The Energy Union is more than energy and climate alone. It is about accelerating the fundamental modernisation of Europe's entire economy, making it low-carbon, energy and resource efficient, in a socially fair manner. In this context, I particularly welcome on-going efforts by Belgian leaders to join forces for a Belgian Energy Pact.
More of Belgium's energy comes from petroleum products and nuclear power, and less from coal and other solid fuels, than in other EU countries on average. Belgium also imports all its gas and, thanks to its strategic position at the heart of North Western Europe, is a significant gas transit country: a number of gas pipelines interconnect within its borders. The Belgium port of Zeebrugge is the site of a liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal from which supplies of LNG are transported to neighbouring countries.
During his visit, Vice-President Šefčovič will hold a ministerial meeting with the Belgian Federal and Regional Energy Ministers of Energy. Belgium's long-term energy and climate vison will be at the heart of the discussion. The Vice-President will also engage with Members of the different Parliaments, together with civil society stakeholders, in the Federal Parliament for a debate on the implementation of the EU’s 2030 energy and climate framework, the Energy Union governance (including the preparation of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans) and the Commission's Clean Energy for All Europeans package from November 2016. In Antwerp, Vice-President Šefčovič will take part in the Citizens' Dialogue 'How the EU can finance cities to become smart cities?' and deliver a key note speech.
As part of the 2017 Energy Union Tour, the Vice-President has already visited the Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia and Sweden. Upcoming dates and more information on the 2017 Energy Union tour are available here.