A New Governance for the Energy Union: Participation processes and national implementation
In order to bring security of supply, competitiveness and climate protection together in an efficient and cost-effective way, the design of the European energy and climate policy by 2030 has been significantly improved in recent years. This includes the regulation of the governance system of the Energy Union. Negotiations on the legislation draft were completed in June 2018 and the Member States must then quickly start with the implementation. This includes writing a concept for integrated national energy and climate plans (NECPs) until the end of 2018. After being reviewed by the EU Commission by mid-2019, the NECPs should then be completed at latest by the end of 2019. In the period 2018-20, Member States will also need to establish long-term climate strategies (LTSs) for 2050 and beyond.
Both planning documents should be coherent with each other. The process of creating ambitious, consistent and meaningful NECPs and LTSs is critical to the credibility of European efforts in the fight against climate change and in designing a low carbon, sustainable economy. This poses a major challenge for all Member States and stakeholders. The Ecologic Institute, therefore, supported ECF partners both in the ongoing negotiation process on the final form of the Governance regulation as well as in the initial phase of implementation through demand-driven, analytical and legal input.
In this context, among other things, a study on the legal requirements for stakeholder engagement within the further development of the energy and climate policies in the Member States was composed. This recognizes a clear deficit in the participation possibilities of non-governmental actors within the design of NECPs and LTS, and therefore demands an opening in the participation process and a transparent presentation of information – in line with the obligations under the Aarhus Convention.
For this purpose, Ecologic Institute developed for and in cooperation with the NGO umbrella organization Climate Action Network Europe a guideline for active participation of civil society actors in the planning process at the national level (NECP Guidelines for NGOs). This is used internally by the association to work with members.