01 Feb 2017
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 01 FEBRUARYBrussels Daily
State of the Energy Union: Europe’s energy transition on track
In line with its commitment to report annually on the state of the Energy Union, the European Commission is publishing today its second State of the Energy Union Report. This report looks at the progress made since the publication of the first State of the Energy Union in November 2015. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy, Europe is well on track to reach its 2020 targets. To further drive this process, the Commission today is announcing a new Energy Union tour. Maroš Šefčovič, the Vice-President responsible for the Energy Union, said: “The Energy Union is about more than energy and climate; it is about accelerating the fundamental modernisation of Europe’s entire economy, making it low-carbon, energy and resource efficient, in a socially fair manner. Now that a large part of the relevant legislative proposals are on the table, 2017 should be the year of implementation. This message I will bring to Member States during the new Energy Union tour, which I will launch on 3 February”. Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: “Europe is well on track to meet its 2020 climate and energy targets. Despite the current geopolitical uncertainties, Europe is forging ahead with the clean energy transition. Renewable energy is now cost-competitive and sometimes cheaper than fossil fuels, employs over one million people in Europe, and has reduced our fossil fuels imports bill by €16 billion.” Read the press release and two memos (Progress Energy Efficiency and Progress Renewables) online. The Second State of the Energy Union Communication and all accompanying documents adopted today can be found here.
College holds an Orientation Debate on the procedures for the adoption of delegated and implementing acts
In his State of the Union Speech in September 2016, President Juncker said, “It is not right that when EU countries cannot decide among themselves whether or not to ban the use of glyphosate in herbicides, the Commission is forced by Parliament and Council to take a decision. So we will change those rules.” Today, the College of Commissioners followed up on the President’s statement with an Orientation Debate on possible ways to ensure that political responsibility is taken where the applicable legislation requires. This initiative is included in the priorities of the Commission’s Work Programme for 2017. In recent years the Commission has been regularly obliged to take decisions on very sensitive issues when Member States have not been able to take a position, in particular with regards to topics like GMOs or glyphosate. Since the beginning of its mandate, the Juncker Commission has taken a number of internal measures to ensure that a political debate is held at the level of the College before submitting proposals for delegated or implementing acts on sensitive subjects. To ensure that the political responsibility is also assumed by other decision-making bodies, as identified by the co-legislator, the Commission will present a proposal on 14 February to revise the Comitology Regulation. The College also discussed today a number of open comitology procedures.
NEWS IN FULL