On 30 November 2016, the Commission proposed a Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union.
The goals of the proposed Regulation are:
- to ensure the objectives of the Energy Union, especially the EU's 2030 energy and climate targets, are achieved. This will be done by making sure that national objectives and policies are coherent with EU goals, while at the same time allowing individual countries flexibility to adapt to local conditions and needs
- to promote long-term certainty and predictability for investors
- to reduce administrative burdens, in line with the principle of better regulation. This will be 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. Existing obligations will be streamlined whenever possible
- to incorporate the provisions of the existing Climate Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (MMR) and harmonise them with the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans
According to the proposed new rules, EU countries will be required:
- to develop Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans that cover the five dimensions of the Energy Union for the period 2021 to 2030 (and every subsequent ten year period) based on a common template
- to report on the progress they make in implementing the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans, mostly on a biennial basis.
The Commission will monitor the progress of the EU as a whole, notably as part of the annual State of the Energy Union report.
The proposed new rules stress the importance of regional cooperation in the development and implementation of these plans. EU countries are also called on to encourage their citizens to participate in the preparation of the plans. This will ensure that the views of citizens and businesses as well as regional and local authorities are heard.
How will Energy Union governance work?
The proposed Regulation 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.
If an individual country's Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan does not sufficiently contribute to reaching the Energy Union's objectives, or if the EU collectively does not make sufficient progress towards these objectives, the Commission may issue recommendations to countries. The proposed Regulation also includes other ways of ensuring that the new plans are fully developed and implemented. In the area of renewable energy, these could include national measures (ranging from contributions to a financing platform to measures in the heating and cooling and transport sectors) and EU-level measures. In the area of energy efficiency, additional measures could in particular aim to improve the energy efficiency of products, buildings and transport.