S.1. Energy Strategies

D.1.3. EU Energy Union

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Deepening of the debate on the contents of the five Energy Union pillars

Friday, February 6, 2015

The five pillars of the Energy Union were discussed in Latvia during the Energy Union Conference in Latvia.

After the orientation debate on the Energy Union that the College of Commissioners held on 4 February 2015, the Latvian Council Presidency organised an Energy Union Conference in Riga with the EU Energy Ministers, representatives from the EU Institutions and other organisations, and academics. While the EU Energy Ministers held closed discussions, a public conference was also organised and included speeches by the EU Vice-President for the Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, and by EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete. Topics covered also included debates on each of the five pillars of the Energy Union (i.e., (i) security of supply based on solidarity and trust; (ii) a competitive and completed internal energy market; (iii) moderation of energy demand; (iv) decarbonisation of the EU energy mix; and (v) research and innovation).
Mr. Šefčovič stressed that the currently low oil prices create the ideal framework to “reset our energy policy in the right direction”. When presenting the five dimensions, the Vice-President emphasised that, to create an Internal Energy Market, technical and regulatory barriers between EU Member States should be reduced by improving regional cooperation. He also suggested that the Energy Union could be part of a “new economic narrative”, which would consist of European citizens producing their own clean energy. Mr. Arias Cañete followed the same five-dimension structure in his speech and presented for the first dimension a 10-point plan, which includes measures both on gas and electricity, such as accelerating the PCIs to enhance Europe’s security of supply. Mr. Arias Cañete concluded that governance is “the foundation stone on which the Energy Union will stand”.