What is “energy union”? Part 1

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So now a “resilient energy union with a forward-looking climate agenda” is on the table and a new EC VP is almost in the hot seat, we start to work-out what might go into such a thing. At the present time, certainly it’s far from clear. Since I expect I’ll post quite a few times about this set of questions, I’ll use numbered titles (as above). For Part 1, I simply share the key source texts in one place.

Treaties & legislation

First to note is that NOTHING substantially new has been published in the Official Journal*. The only relevant EurLex provisions are the Treaty provisions, as last amended by Lisbon five years ago, and all pre-agreed legislation, e.g. the 2009 third internal energy market package. (I’ll come back to the associated issues in a later post.)

“Strategic Agenda” 2014-19

On 27 June, EUCO agreed a strategic agenda” for the next five years, which it “invited” other institutions and MS to implement. The full PDF is here and the text of part 3 is extracted here.

All translations can be found annexed to conclusions of same date here. On the same day EUCO also nominated Jean-Claude Juncker as EC president.

Juncker’s political guidelines 2014-19

On 15 July, just ahead of his EP confirmation vote, Juncker (now President-elect) presented to Parliament his political guidelines also for the next five years. The full document in all languages is here and the extract re energy union is here.

Mission letters

On designation (10 September) Juncker sent a mission letters to each nominee. The letters do not add much to the main documents above, but they do help identify which Commission is charged with what responsibility, how the extended project team(s) fits together and therefore how “energy union” might fit in.

College mapping (‘Team Bratušek’)

Without forgetting Parliament and Council also have responsibilities for implementation of EU objectives (see Treaties etc. above), the Commission and in particular the Berlaymont becomes the first destination to discover or help arrange what ideas have half a chance of emerging into the daylight.

In that context, it will help to keep this College map at hand. The responsible vice-president will coordinate no less than seven portfolio commissioners and liaise with a further six. This means that, not even counting the President and first VP Timmermans, exactly half the College will be somehow involved.

Mission letters

On designation (10 September) Juncker sent a mission letters to each College nominee. The letters do not add much to the main documents above, but they do help identify in detail which person is charged with what responsibility, how the project team(s) may fits together and therefore how an “energy union” concept might form.

The Polish Non-Paper

Circulated informally in March this year, and subsequently supported by a PL PM Tusk speech in April, the Polish non-paper was the main pre-cursor document to the political texts cited above. Eventually Poland found the confidence to put the document on-line here in May.

Notre Europe’s Energy Community

Paris-based think-tank Notre Europe first floated the idea of new initiatives on energy in this 2010 study.

–oo0oo–

* Often in the EU institutions, unpublished texts are referred to by the appropriate technical term “blah blah blah” (BBB). 😉

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