Even though the EU has an energy commissioner and an energy directorate which produces strategic energy reviews and similar policy documents it has no concise energy policy. Energy decisions are still principally taken at the national level. According to the report, a European energy policy is essential for Europe to play a proactive role in the next industrial revolution of sustainable energy sources and green technologies.
The deficiencies of the current EU energy policy, which is solely based on market liberalisation, are numerous: lack of a clear end objective, vulnerability to divide and rule strategies exercised by external energy players and inability to take direct centralised action.
According to the report, common energy policy would enable the EU to establish a broad European energy market and fight climate change, while maintaining its industrial competitiveness and energy supply security. It would allow for the emergence of a coherent and integrated single regulatory space for energy in Europe and would provide the EU with the ability to finance centrally energy investments and research. What is more it would multiply EU’s capability to negotiate collectively with its external partners.
Of course, a common EU energy strategy cannot emerge overnight as it will take time to carry out the full debate that is needed. Although the optimal solution would be the creation of a new European Energy Community, interim measures are also recommended by the Notre Europe report such as: developing ambitious economic instruments to finance common projects, deepening and structuring cooperation in Europe-wide energy networks and setting up oil and gas purchasing groups to facilitate procurement from foreign suppliers.
To raise support for their propositions the creators of this report will present their findings at the European Parliament and tour European Capitals. They will also discuss with decision-makers and important stakeholders. Their final goal is that their proposals are addressed at the Energy Summit, which has been called by the President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy, in the spring of 2011.