EU's energy policies aim to ensure that European citizens can access secure, affordable and sustainable energy supplies. The EU is working in a number of areas to make this happen.
Building the energy union
The energy union strategy (COM/2015/080 final), adopted on 25 February 2015, is focused on boosting energy security, creating a fully integrated internal energy market, improving energy efficiency, decarbonising the economy - not least by using more renewable energy - and supporting research, innovation and competitiveness.
Since its launch in 2015, the European Commission has published several packages of measures and regular progress reports, which monitor the implementation of this key priority of the Juncker Commission to ensure that the strategy is achieved.
On 9 April 2019, the Commission published the fourth State of the energy union report, which takes stock of the progress made towards building the energy union and highlights the issues where further attention is needed. It brings together a series of Commission reports and initiatives related to the energy union in an integrated way.
Governance of the energy union and climate action
The governance of the energy union and climate action (Regulation (EU)2018/1999) entered into force on 24 December 2018 and is part of the Clean energy for all Europeans package.
The goals and the government mechanism, based on integrated national energy and climate plans (NECPs), as well as the national long-term strategies are explained in this section.
European energy security strategy
The EU's prosperity and security hinges on a stable and abundant supply of energy, but we import more than half of all the energy consumed; the total import bill is more than €1 billion per day.
The European energy security strategy (COM/2014/0330 final) sets out areas where decisions need to be taken or concrete actions implemented in the short, medium and longer term to respond to energy security concerns.
Clean energy for all Europeans package
The 'Clean energy for all Europeans' package includes 8 different legal acts and emphasises three key objectives:
- putting energy efficiency first
- achieving global leadership in renewable energies
- providing a fair deal for consumers
The package was presented by the Commission in November 2016 and will be formally adopted in May 2019. The new EU laws related to clean energy constitute a significant step towards the realisation of the energy union and will also help deliver on the EU's Paris Agreement commitments.
Clean energy for EU islands
As part of the 'Clean energy for all Europeans' package, the Clean energy for EU islands initiative provides a long-term framework to help Europe’s more than 2200 inhabited islands generate their own sustainable, low-cost energy.
2050 long-term strategy
The EU has continuously demonstrated a commitment to long-term strategies and objectives for the clean energy transition, having set targets for 2020 back in 2010 as well as introducing targets for 2030 in the Clean energy for all Europeans packge from 2016. For the longer term, the Commission published in November 2018 its strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050.
Together, these goals provide the EU with a stable policy framework on greenhouse gas emissions, renewables and energy efficiency, which gives investors more certainty and confirms the EU's lead in these fields on a global scale.
EU funding and other forms of support are helping to build a modern, interconnected energy grid across Europe.
Rigorous safety standards are set across the EU's energy sectors, including strict rules on issues such as the disposal of nuclear waste and the operation of offshore oil and gas platforms.