Renewable energy in Euromed

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Renewable energy in Euromed

Key points:

The central message of this exploratory opinion is the need for a coordinated approach on renewable energies in the region, one that is based on co-development. The recent events in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East confirm that a "laisser‑faire" approach is no longer possible, and that a more sustainable future must be built, which has personal well-being and social development at its core. This will require strong and sustained political commitment on both shores of the Mediterranean – promoting renewable policies is not just a matter of EU policy. Instead it requires a regional approach, one in which the UfM can play an instrumental role. The hope is to achieve a "New Green Deal" for the Mediterranean in which renewable energies can make a significant contribution to a future energy mix.

The opinion also reiterates some of the recommendations made by previous EESC opinions in the energy field, for example the call to extend the European Energy Community (involving South-East Europe) to the Euromed region – this should include a social forum in which the social aspects of the energy community can be discussed –, and the need for countries in the region to improve energy efficiency as an indispensable complement to any policy of renewable energy promotion.

Finally, the opinion emphasises the need to strengthen links between researchers and technical staff working in the field. This could be achieved through an ERASMUS-style programme to foster exchanges and transfers of technology.