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The State of the Union 2017: A resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy

14092017_Jean-Claude-Juncker-957x598European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday delivered his 2017 State of the Union Address, before the Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, presenting “a resilient Energy Union” as one of his priorities for the year ahead and outlining his vision for how the European Union could evolve by 2025.

“As we look to the future, we cannot let ourselves be blown off course. We set out to complete an Energy Union, a Security Union, a Capital Markets Union, a Banking Union and a Digital Single Market. Together, we have already come a long way. As the Parliament testified, 80% of the proposals promised at the start of the mandate have already been put forward by the Commission. We must now work together to turn proposals into law, and law into practice”, stated European Commission President.

President Juncker presented a Roadmap for a More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union, in which Energy Union is contemplated as the third priority “A resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy”.

The document presents some initiatives to be launched and/or completed by end 2018:

Swift adoption by the co-legislators of the Commission proposals to implement the Energy Union and Climate Change policy, including: the Clean Energy for all Europeans package; the Climate package; and the Europe on the Move package.

Mobility and Climate Change package, including legislative proposals on: clean vehicles; common rules for combined transport of goods; CO2 standards for cars and vans; fuel-efficiency and CO2 standards for lorries, buses and coaches; and an initiative to accelerate the delivery of the alternative fuels infrastructure.

Follow-up to the solidarity aspect of the Energy Union, including: a proposal on common rules for gas pipelines entering the European internal gas market; and swift implementation of the Projects of Common Interest necessary for the connection of the European energy markets.

– On the basis of a strong Council mandate (draft recommended by the Commission on 9 June 2017), engaging in negotiations with Russia on key principles for the operation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.

By 2025 is expected a communication on the future of EU energy and climate policy, including on the future of the Euratom Treaty.

Goals, that President Juncker has been following since his presidency “I want to reform and reorganise Europe’s energy policy into a new European Energy Union. (…) We need to strengthen the share of renewable energies on our continent. This is not only a matter of a responsible climate change policy. It is, at the same time, an industrial policy imperative” stated in October 2014.

14092017_CleanenergyEuropean Commission work continues on building a single market in which clean energy can flow freely and securely, for which infrastructure is critical. The EU has invested €1.7 billion in 96 electricity, smart grid and gas infrastructure projects under the Connecting Europe Facility. It has also strengthened the compliance with EU law of intergovernmental agreements in the field of energy.

Thus, in June 2018 is expected an EU debate about the future of EU Energy and Climate Policy.

Every year in September, the President of the European Commission delivers his State of the Union Address before the European Parliament, taking stock of achievements of the past year and presenting priorities for the year ahead. The President also sets out how the Commission will address the most pressing challenges the European Union is facing. The speech is followed by a plenary debate. This kick-starts the dialogue with the European Parliament and Council to prepare the Commission Work Programme for the following year.

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