Governance of the energy union

Governance of the energy union

In order to meet the EU’s new energy and climate targets for 2030, Member States are required to establish a 10-year NECP for the period from 2021 to 2030.

On 24 December 2018 the regulation on the governance of the energy union and climate action entered into force.

Agreed as part of the Clean energy for all Europeans package, the goals of the new regulation are:

  • to implement strategies and measures which ensure that the objectives of the energy union, in particular the EU’s 2030 energy and climate targets, and the long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions commitments are consistent with the Paris agreement.
  •  to stimulate cooperation between Member States in order to achieve the objectives and targets of the energy union
  • to promote long-term certainty and predictability for investors across the EU and foster jobs, growth and social cohesion
  • to reduce administrative burdens, in line with the principle of better regulation. This was done by integrating and streamlining most of the current energy and climate planning and reporting requirements of EU countries as well as the Commission's monitoring obligations
  • to ensure consistent reporting by the EU and its Member States under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris agreement, replacing the existing monitoring and reporting system from 2021 onwards. 

Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs)

The governance mechanism is based on integrated national energy and climate plans (NECPs) covering ten-year periods starting from 2021 to 2030, EU and national long-term strategies, as well as integrated reporting, monitoring and data publication. The transparency of the governance mechanism is ensured by consulting wide public on the NECPs.

The regulation on the governance of the energy union and climate action emphasises the importance of meeting the EU's 2030 energy and climate targets and sets out how EU countries and the Commission should work together, and how individual countries should cooperate, to achieve the energy union's goals. It takes into account the fact that different countries can contribute to the Energy Union in different ways.

Under the regulation, each Member States was required to submit a draft NECPs by the end of 2018, which was then assessed by the Commission. On 18 June 2019, as mandated under the governance regulation, the Commission published its global assessment of the cumulative impact of these draft plans. This included recommendations for each Member State to improve their draft plans in order to meet the EU targets. The final NECPs must be submitted by the end of 2019.

National long-term strategies

According to the new rules laid out in the governance regulation, EU countries are also required to develop national long-term strategies by 1 January 2020, and consistency between long-term-strategies and NECPs has to be ensured.

In November 2018, the Commission presented its strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050. An EU-wide informed debate should allow the EU to adopt an ambitious strategy by early 2020.


On 11 April 2019, the European Council (Article 50) decided, in agreement with the United Kingdom, to extend further the two-year period provided for by Article 50(3) of the Treaty on the European Union, until 31 October 2019. Following this decision, and until further notice, any reference in the documents published on this page to 30 March 2019 at 00.00 (CET) or 13 April 2019 at 00.00 (CET) as the withdrawal date of the United Kingdom from the European Union, must be read as referring to 1 November 2019 at 00.00 (CET). Please note that:

(i) in the event that the United Kingdom has not held elections to the European Parliament in accordance with applicable Union law and has not ratified the Withdrawal Agreement by 22 May 2019, the Decision referred to above shall cease to apply on 31 May 2019, and the withdrawal will therefore take place on 1 June 2019; and

(ii) should the United Kingdom ratify the Withdrawal Agreement at any stage before 31 October 2019, the withdrawal will take place on the first day of the month following the completion of the ratification procedures.