Clean Energy Package

Governance of the Energy Union – Council agrees general approach

The European Council has agreed on a general approach which integrates, climate and energy planning into a single framework.
Published: Wed 20 Dec 2017

The regulation, which is part of the clean energy package, establishes a cooperation and control mechanism to oversee the implementation of the 2030 EU climate and energy policy objectives and targets, in particular those regarding renewables, energy efficiency, interconnections and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Today’s agreement is its cornerstone, providing robust rules, an effective framework for implementation and is future-proof,” says Kadri Simson, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure of the Republic of Estonia.

The Council has included the following main elements in its position:

National energy and climate plans

Member states will submit integrated national energy and climate plans, presenting their objectives, policies and measures in all five areas of the Energy Union, including greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

These plans would cover the period 2021-2030 and would be renewed every 10 years.

Tracking the renewable energy target achievement

Three benchmarks were adopted to the indicative renewables trajectory for member states to ensure the EU achieves its renewables’ target of 27% by 2030.

These milestones are 24% in 2023, 40% in 2025 and 60% in 2027 applicable at both EU and member state levels. These values are calculated on the basis of the 20% renewables target set for 2020 as the starting point ("0%") and the 27% 2030 target as the end point ("100%").

The Council says that this will guarantee that all EU countries make a constant and incremental contribution towards the final goal.

An iterative process

The Council points to an an 'iterative process' between member states and the Commission as the cornerstone of the governance process.

In this process, member states submit draft plans, final plans and progress reports, and the Commission can react to them. Namely, the 'gap-filler mechanism', proposed by the Commission, is retained in the Council text as the way to address and close possible gaps of delivery in member states.

Internal energy market

The Council says it has strengthened measures to facilitate the achievement of the interconnections target for all member states and introduced key criteria to assess the need for increased interconnection capacity.


Member states will submit integrated national energy and climate progress reports every two years. The Commission will monitor progress and assess the need for recommendations, which may trigger additional measures to be taken at national or EU level.

Next steps

At the European Parliament, the ITRE and ENVI committees adopted the report regarding governance on 7 December 2017. It will be put to a vote during the Parliament's January 2018 plenary session.

Following this week's agreement, the Council says it is ready to start negotiations with the co-legislator in the new year.

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