Energy policies and strategies in the Euro-Mediterranean region

Background

The Mediterranean is endowed with significant renewable energy sources, especially regarding solar and wind power. The current geopolitical g situation following Russia's invasion in Ukraine reinforced the importance of energy and placed it at the core of Euro-Mediterranean relations. However, The Mediterranean region is going to be disproportionately affected by the climate crisis and has already been identified as one of the global climate crisis hotspots. Given that the energy supply sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it is a priority to speed up the energy transition from fossil-based fuels to zero carbon in the Mediterranean region.

Ioannis Vardakastanis, EESC member and rapporteur of the opinion, underlined: The energy transition is a powerful catalyst for coordinated action and sustainable growth for both the EU and the Mediterranean region.

Helena De Felipe Lehtonen, EESC member and co-rapporteur of the opinion, said: Micro-, small and mediuim-sized enterprises must play a key part in a new energy strategy for the Euromed region.

Key points

In this opinion the EESC:

  • estimates that the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries are not moving towards decarbonization at the same speed as the EU; the EU Green Deal could serve as inspiration;
  • indicates that energy interconnections are crucial for developing an integrated energy system in the Euro-Mediterranean to the benefit of both shores of the Mediterranean;
  • reminds of the geopolitical, economic and social consequences of energy transition and calls on the European Union to mitigate the effects for “transition losers; 

The full text of the opinion can be found here

Additional information

EESC section: External Relations Section (REX)

Opinion type: Own-initiative

Rapporteur: Ioannis Vardakastanis (Civil Society Organisations' Group-GR III/Greece)

Co-rapporteur: Helena De Felipe Lehtonen (Employers' Group-GR I/ Spain)

Reference: REX/555-EESC-2023

Date of adoption by section: 28 September 2023

Date of adoption in plenary: 25-26 October 2023

Result of the vote: 214 in favour/ 2 against/ 3 abstentions

Millie Tsoumani, Press officer

Tel.: +32 2 546 9088, email: Amalia.Tsoumani@eesc.europa.eu  

Andreas Berger, Administrator, Policy officer

Tel.: +32 2 546 9062, Email: Andreas.Berger@eesc.europa.eu