Progress on the Implementation of National Multilevel Climate and Energy Dialogues: Assessing Member States' own reporting


Faber, R., Kocher, D., Duwe, M. (2023). Progress on the implementation of national Multilevel Climate and Energy Dialogues: Assessing Member States' own reporting. A preliminary assessment of the implementation of Article 11 of the EU's Governance Regulation. 4i-TRACTION Procedural Governance Series. Ecologic Institute, Berlin.

With the introduction of the Governance Regulation (2018/1999) in 2018, the EU solidified the integration of energy and climate policies, paving the way for enhanced planning, reporting, and progress monitoring to reach climate neutrality by 2050. Article 11 of the Governance Regulation contains the obligation for Member States to establish multilevel climate and energy dialogues (MLCEDs). In March 2023, Member States had to report on the progress of the implementation. This paper examines to what extent and how Member States have met the obligation to carry out multilevel climate and energy dialogues. It does so on the basis of mandatory national reporting on the implementation of these dialogues against the requirements set out in Article 11 of the Governance Regulation.

Multilevel Climate and Energy Dialogues as a lever to accelerate a just transition

To ensure a just transition to climate neutrality, it is key to involve sub-national actors, such as provinces, states or regional networks, and local stakeholders in the decision-making process of climate and energy policy. Most national climate policy affects the sectors of housing, transport, infrastructure, land use, waste management, and energy, and so it is at the sub-national level where policies are implemented and where they find social acceptance.

Preliminary results: Shortcomings in Member States' reporting

Our preliminary assessment uncovers the following key insights:

  • Formal requirements are barely met, and much detail is missing
  • A majority of the reports indicate that new dialogues have been established, although in almost half an existing structure is available. These are both implemented using a variety of formats, with a dedicated committee being the most common approach.
  • Many dialogues may not be multilevel
  • Mandatory topics are largely not explicitly addressed (in the reports)

What could be done?

  • Making Article 11 more precise in the upcoming revision of the Governance Regulation
  • Expanding the reporting requirements
  • Quality Assurance and Quality Control process concerning the submissions could be improved and strengthened
  • An actual follow-up on the dialogues and their implementation could have an impact

This paper serves as an interim assessment, poised to expand with a more comprehensive dataset and additional information from interviews and desk research.

The analysis is being carried out as one of several assessments of important governance mechanisms in the context of specific research under the 4i-TRACTION project. The objective of the project is to gain a deeper understanding of key challenges and potential improvements for EU climate policy on the path to climate neutrality, using as an analytical lens the four themes of innovation, investment, infrastructure and integration. One of the a priori theses guiding the work of 4i-TRACTION is that EU climate policy needs to become transformative. This applies also to the governance of EU climate policy, both in its substantive and procedural instruments.

As a product of the 4i-TRACTION project, this paper is financed by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, funded under grant agreement No. 1011003884.

Shortcomings in Member States' reporting on the implementation of multilevel climate and energy dialogues

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Energy Transition, Multilevel, Dialogues, Public Participation, Policymaking, Governance Regulation, Article 11, Climate neutrality, Net Zero, Member States

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