Energy Union: Member State position highly contradictory

The Communication on the Energy Union Package adopted by the Commission in February suggested that energy efficiency should be fundamentally rethought and treated as an energy source in its own right. Member States had repeatedly called for realising Europe’s energy efficiency potential, in particular that of buildings. However, the March European Council clearly focused on the supply-side dimension of the Energy Union.
Oliver Loebel, Managing Director of PU Europe commented: “The first reaction of the European Council is a blow to a holistic Energy Union concept including all its dimensions. Instead of a real energy transition, governments want to solve new problems with old solutions.”
Another example is equally striking. The Energy Union proposals highlight the huge savings potential of the building sector and the Council conclusions call for “fully implementing and rigorously enforcing existing energy legislation”. Still, all Member States except Malta face Commission legal action for not fully implementing the Energy Efficiency Directive. The construction sector is one of the main victims as incomplete or non-ambitious national renovation roadmaps do not allow for long-term planning. 
“A new report by the Joint Research Centre [1] provides more evidence that the energy renovation of Europe’s building stock is not only a major contributor to meeting the 2020 goals, it also stimulates the economy, fights fuel poverty and reduces energy import dependency. Aren’t these exactly the goals of the Energy Union? Member States must accept a changing world and make energy efficiency the starting point of the European energy strategy,” Loebel concluded.
The PU Europe position on the proposed Energy Union package is available here.
[1] JRC Science and Policy Reports “Energy Renovation: The Trump Card for the New Start for Europe” (2015)