The energy transition offers many opportunities in Europe

Energy dependence of European countries has emerged as a result of the geopolitical turbulence during the two oil crises of the 1970s and interruptions in Russian gas supplies in 2006 and 2009. In other words, the need for a common energy policy is becoming increasingly important for the European Union. Nevertheless, the Union still lacks a coherent common energy policy and Energy remains an integral part of national security agendas despite considerable harmonization efforts. According to the European Energy Security Strategy, the The EU imports around 53% of the energy it useswhich, in contrast to the world’s growing energy demand, makes it the world’s largest energy importer. The Union needs a constantly integrated energy market to drive the transition to a low carbon economy and Europe’s leading role in climate change as well as global Investment in renewable energies. Since the 1990s, the European Commission has focused on the cost-effective results that harmonized strategies for energy security on a supranational level. For this purpose, the framework strategy for a resilient Energy Union prioritizes all five strategic dimensions: Energy security, internal energy market, energy efficiency, decarbonisation and research, innovation and competitiveness with the ultimate goal of promoting energy security and sustainability throughout the region.

Legal basis of the energy competences of the member states

Energy as a policy area in which the EU shares competences with the individual member states is of great importance, as the clauses of the founding treaty show. The Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EUROTAM) serves as the main legal basis for most EU measures in the field of nuclear energy, while Article 194 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) describes the Union’s energy policy, focusing on issues such as Security of energy supply, energy efficiency and the interconnection of energy networks with the aim of creating a common internal energy market. However, the same article recognizes the Exclusive right of the member states to determine the conditions for the use of their own energy resources as well as the overall energy supply against the possible measures of the EU institutions. It recognizes the powers of the Member States to determine the conditions under which they can use their own resources, thereby greatly nationalizing the decision-making process on energy issues.

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The member states have different domestic energy profiles and needs. Above all, every state is sovereign over the choice of the energy mix and the supply connections. The national interests and the internal dynamics of the state will be reflected in the negotiations at the intergovernmental level. When we look at how energy decisions are made at EU level, there is another important point. The current decision-making process for the Union’s energy and climate policy is based on the relevant provisions of the Lisbon Treaty, by which the ordinary legislative procedure excessive policy areas with a stronger role for Parliament. The Commission has increasingly identified energy as a policy area that requires more supranational governance. However, the transfer of power from nation states to EU institutions has been restricted – mainly due to the reluctance of member states to transfer sovereignty over energy security issues, particularly with regard to its external dimension.

Prospects for a green economic recovery

The political agenda of the European Union within the framework of the European Green Deal aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with an ambitious target of at least 55% reduction by 2030. In fact, the effects of decarbonisation will be felt differently in each Member State, with effects on sectoral change. The The EU’s pioneering Next Generation Recovery Fund offers the opportunity to rebuild European economies that have hardly been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The European Commission strongly encourages 27 Member States to do so Submission of their recovery and resilience plans detailed information on their investment projects under the EUR 750 billion reconstruction fund. Therefore, Next Generation EU should serve the dual purpose of sustainability and digital transformation. However, bureaucratic and administrative challenges persist as Member States have to show commitment to the use of refurbishment loans and grants to foster the green transition, innovation and digitization.

The strong support of the EU institutions for a common decarbonisation policy can achieve the goals of competitiveness, security and sustainability with regard to future challenges, including climate change. It could change the reluctance of EU members to transfer their sovereignty over energy mix preferences and different risk perceptions. Building a bridge between objectives at EU level and national commitments is essential to achieve this accelerate the use of renewable energies with the resulting ecological and socio-economic benefits. Investing in Clean Energy offer great impetus for the economic recovery after Covid. The introduction of clean energy technologies combined with energy efficiency policy Can increase energy security and self-reliance in the Union. Nevertheless, the EU seems determined to overcome the potential handicaps at a time of major challenges as it faces internal and external crises.

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