Governance for the European Energy Union

Position Paper of the Academies' Project “Energy Systems of the Future”

Series on Science-Based Policy Advice


  • Publisher/author
  • acatech/Leopoldina/Akademienunion
  • published
  • April 2019
  • ISBN
  • 978-3-8047-3930-7
  • volume
  • 71

The "Regulation on the Governance for the Energy Union and Climate Protection" adopted in December 2018 is intended to ensure the governance of European climate and energy policy. It is an important step, but it does not yet pave the way for a climate-friendly European energy supply. In its Position Paper, the ESYS working group concludes: "The EU Commission and EU legislators as well as committed leadership alliances must make effective use of the scope of the Governance Regulation and also take accompanying measures. Central options for action are:

  • All member states must draw up energy and climate plans with clear targets, strategies and measures. To be more effective, they should be anchored in national law. In addition, the public, federal states and local authorities should be involved more closely and at an early stage.
  • Financial incentives can motivate EU Member States to establish instruments to reduce emissions effectively. By linking the governance regulation more closely with the EU's structural policies, regions particularly affected by structural change could be supported.
  • Possible sanctions are needed in the event of inadequate or failed climate targets being set by the Member States. It would be conceivable to refuse financial support from the Structural Funds or to grant environmental associations the right to sue at national level.
  • Leadership alliances can help to implement climate initiatives for which there is currently no majority in the EU - for example on coal phasing out or CO2 pricing.
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