Energy Union: Delivery pending

Maroš Šefčovič Vice-President of the EC in charge of Energy Union (photo Europe by Satellite)

Electricity market design, renewable energies, energy efficiency – the EU Commission’s recent “Winter Package” touches upon some of the core themes of the envisioned “Energy Union”. But finding  agreement on all these dossiers will be difficult in this politically turbulent year, writes Severin Fischer of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich. According to Fischer, five aspects deserve closer attention. Courtesy Policy Perspectives. … [Read more...]

Nord Stream 2: Trust in Europe

The landfall of the (first) Nord Stream pipeline in Germany (photo Nord Stream)

The prospect of building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany is dividing the EU into two camps. By following geopolitical considerations, both sides are neglecting the concept of a liberalized natural gas market and are overlooking Europe’s favorable position in current international gas trade, writes Severin Fischer, Senior Researcher in the Global Security Team at the Center for Security Studies (CCS), ETH Zürich. … [Read more...]

Limits of the “Energy Union”: expect only pragmatic progress

Illustration: Europe by Satellite

On 8 June the EU Member States will discuss the European Commission’s proposals for an Energy Union. According to Severin Fischer and Oliver Geden of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, it is already clear that they will avoid or delay implementation of any meaningful steps in the direction of a political energy union. Over the next few years, they write, the focus of EU energy and climate policy will be … [Read more...]

EU climate policy: time to come down to earth

Press Conference by Miguel Arias Cañete Commissioner for Climate  for Climate Action and Energy, with Francesco La Camera, representative of the European Union, at Climate Conference Lima 2014 (EU/AFP/Sebastian Castañeda)

For many years, the EU pursued the strategy of ‘leading by example’ in international climate negotiations. However, since the Copenhagen climate summit, frictions inside the EU and a paradigm shift have become increasingly evident, write Severin Fischer and Oliver Geden of the influential German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). With the October 2014 compromise in the European Council on a new climate framework for 2030, the … [Read more...]

EU climate policy “in line” with 2050 goal – but what does that mean?

Photo: Stop Climate Chaos

EU leaders agreed last week that the EU’s emissions reduction target for 2030 will be “fully in line with the agreed ambitious EU objective for 2050”. Sounds impressive, but the problem is that there are different views on the meaning of earlier European Council agreements. Therefore it’s still not clear what the EU’s 2030 climate target will look like, write Oliver Geden and Severin Fischer of the influential German Institute for International … [Read more...]

Energiewende under siege: German energy strategy under threat from EU “paradigm shift”

Photo: Blue

The German Energiewende is running up against a “paradigm shift” in EU energy policy, which seems on the point of slowing down the transformation towards a low-carbon economy.. As Germany cannot afford to continue with the Energiewende on its own, the German government will have to do its utmost to bend EU energy policy in its direction, write Oliver Geden and Severin Fischer of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). … [Read more...]