European leaders are set to discuss how to strengthen the enforcement of existing energy legislation at their summit on March 19 after the European Union suggested that it would like to launch infringement procedures against recalcitrant EU members that have not properly introduced EU energy efficiency law into their national legislations.
Draft conclusions of the European Council dated 9 March, which have the efficiency law high on their agenda, will be discussed by the top EU leadership as part of the general discussion over the Energy Union. However, the original guidelines did not mention energy efficiency at all as they only briefly referred to renewables in the context of circumscribing national support frameworks. In the new draft, both renewables and efficiency have a much stronger presence implying that Council officials addressed the feedback from the European Commission and EU energy ministers at a Council of the EU meeting. “One of the things we are doing […] and was asked by Member States to do, is to implement fully the Third Energy Package before coming up with new legislation,” Energy and Climate Action Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said after the Council of Ministers meeting.
In addition to “fully implementing and rigorously enforcing” existing laws and revising the energy efficiency and renewables legislation, EU leaders will also discuss the EU’s progress towards the 2030 Climate and Energy targets. Originally, the EU’s electricity market was supposed to be on the agenda as well but the latest documents revealed that electricity will only be discussed in the context of the integration of renewables. Moreover, the leaders will also touch upon the EU’s strategy to decrease the block’s dependence on Russian gas, and as part of this struggle, they will also elaborate more on the way the Energy Union will be governed.