An Energy Union 2.0?

(EurActiv, 9 Apr 2019) Four years into the Energy Union project, it is worth taking stock of one of the flagship policies of the Juncker Commission and look into future challenges, writes Piotr Arak.

Piotr Arak is the director of the Polish Economic Institute, a public think-tank focusing on trade, energy and the digital economy. Arak was one of the speakers at a recent EURACTIV event titled: Transforming the global energy system: How to finance a just transition?

Already today, we can ascertain that implementing the new “Energy Union” strategy did not bring many new solutions at a conceptual level, but it quickly helped the subject gain popularity. It can therefore be assumed that the very creation of a new and supporting concept served to show the importance of energy among the Juncker Commission’s priorities and helped to scale political capital invested in this area.

The emphasis on increasingly shaping the energy sector at the EU level is not limited to the current Commission, though. This is a long-term trend resulting from the maturing evolution of the common energy market. It will continue to be a triangle of goals: a competitive internal market, security of supply and sustainable development.

Key challenges

Regarding a common EU energy policy, we need to focus on closer integration of the internal energy market.

Firstly, there are different energy prices in various parts of the market. To address this, the Commission should focus on supporting competition. The structural impact of external factors that disrupt the functioning of the internal energy market also needs to be considered.

Long-term energy policy should also consider technological changes and the creation of an intelligent sector. A new vision of cybersecurity is needed, as attacks by state and non-state actors are already a reality. There were 60,000 attacks in 2007-2018, and every month there are several hundred more.

External link

EurActiv, 9 Apr 2019: An Energy Union 2.0?