In the past, Europe gained much of its energy supplies from often costly and polluting resources, frequently imported from third countries. This model has become unsustainable. Climate change is pushing society to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while Europe's energy security continues to be at risk.
What are the EESC's aims regarding energy policy?
- To openly address the social issues linked to changes in production and use of energy resources;
- To enable industry to take advantage of technological and economic opportunities of the transition to a low-carbon economy while addressing its concerns about energy cost hikes, market distortions, and reliable energy supply;
- To defend the interests of consumers, in particular vulnerable groups at risk of energy poverty, regarding energy access, price and choice while empowering them to become active market participants;
- To ensure that citizens are involved in designing EU energy policy.
How does the Committee pursue these aims?
The EESC engages with EU energy policies, especially the European Commission's "Energy Union", through its opinions, events and the European Energy Dialogue.
- Since the Energy Union's launch in 2015, the EESC has produced numerous opinions, notably in response to major packages such as the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' one.
- The EESC promotes a European Energy Dialogue involving experts, stakeholders, and policy-makers from across Europe. This notably includes an annual hearing on the State of the Energy Union report aimed at conveying ideas and questions put forward by Europe's citizens and organised civil society to EU policy-makers (2015, 2016).
EESC members organise public hearings and conferences and participate actively in external events, such as the annual Energy Infrastructure Forum, the European Nuclear Energy Forum, and the Citizens' Energy Forum.