Maroš Šefčovič proposed as Vice-President for Energy Union - Confirmation Hearing

After the European Parliament rejected the first appointed candidate to the position of the Commission Vice-President for Energy Union, Ms. Alenka Bratušek (Slovenia), a new candidate has been proposed, Mr. Maroš Šefčovič (Slovakia).

The European Parliament will be proceeding to the confirmation hearing of Mr. Šefčovič today (20 October) at 19.00 Brussels time. The hearing can be watched live here. The new Mission Letter to the Vice-President-Designate can be accessed here.
A quick look at his CV makes clear that he is an experienced EU politician and administrator. It will now be interesting to know more about his stances on EU energy policy and what a "resilient EU energy policy" (the new motto of the forthcoming Commission) should induce.


Die Energiewende made in France: "la transition énergétique" (Report to the Norwegian Climate Foundation)

Report 3/2014
The Norwegian Climate Foundation (Norsk Klimastiftelse) published a new report on the current energy transition processes experienced by the European countries and EU climate policy. The report is available here.

As part of the report, I published an article on the currently debated Law proposal on energy transition for green growth in France, reviewing the terms of the debate and the core provisions of the proposal. An extended version of the article is available here (in Norwegian).


"Sirkulær økonomi: Snart på dagsorden også i Norge?" / Circular Economy: Soon on the Norway's Agenda ? (Innlegg, Energi og Klima Nettmagasinet)

Sirkulær økonomi og norsk energisystemet er tema til mitt innlegg i Energi og Klima Nettmagasinet under tittelen:
"Norge har andre behov for energiomlegging enn mange andre land, men må likevel følge med i timen når det handler om utviklingen av et mer ressurseffektivt samfunn – en sirkulær økonomi.  De fleste land som har startet en prosess for energiomlegging ..." les resten av saken her

Circular economy and the Norwegian energy system are the topics of a chronicle I wrote for the Norwegian webmagazine Energy & Climate. I question when and how the concept of circular economy can be introduced in Norway. Read the full teks (in Norwegian) here.


Parliamentary Confirmation Hearing of the Commission Vice-President-Designate for Energy Union (6 October 2014)

On 6 October 2014, the European Parliament will be hearing the Vice-President designate for Energy Union. The two committees responsible for the hearing are the ENVI and ITRE.

You can watch the hearing online here. The session will start at 14.30 Brussels time.

The Energy Union portfolio has been offered to Alenka Bratušek, former Slovenian Prime Minister.

In his mission letter to the appointed candidate, Commission president-elect Juncker gave her the following areas of responsibility (emphasis added):


France and Finland join forces on energy and climate: the two nuclear power nations will submit a joint declaration ahead of European Council to defend "their conception" of energy diversification and independence

Finnish prime minister, Alexander Stubb, paid an official visit to France this week (3 October 2014). Energy was among the topics discussed between the French and Finnish heads of state and government. Both nations have a high share of nuclear power in their electricity production, France with approximately 75 percent and Finland with 30 percent. Both countries are concomitantly pushing for the development of the sector for renewable energy

This similarity in energy mix is motivating the two countries to submit a joint declaration ahead of the European Council scheduled on 23-24 October to defend their vision of the diversification of energy sources and reduced reliance on foreign energy supplies.


Parliamentary Confirmation Hearing of the Commissioner-Designate for Climate Action and Energy (1 October 2014)

On 1 October 2014, the European Parliament will hold the confirmation hearing of the Commissioner-designate for Climate Change and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete (from Spain).
The hearing will be broadcasted live on the following website (here) at 18:00 Brussels time.
The website contains his CV, declaration of financial interests, as well as his answer to the written questions from the Parliament.
The nomination of the proposed Commissioner has been heavily commented. I recommend the following article from Euractiv to get a rapid overview. The European Parliament has also published an infographic on the nomination process for the new college of the European Commission (here).


Judgment published in Essent Belgium NV C-204/12 to C-208/12: green certificates, guarantees of origin and free movement of goods (Court of Justice of the EU)

"La boucle est bouclée" one can say, at least for the moment.

The Court of Justice of the European Union has delivered on 11 September 2014 its judgment in the joined Cases C-204/12 to C-208/12 involving Essent Belgium NV.

The case is a reference for preliminary ruling from a Belgium first instance Court to the Court of Justice. It involves questions on the free movement of goods (electricity), the existence of barriers to that free movement due to territorial restrictions (only regional generation qualifies to support), and interaction between green certificates and guarantees of origin under that support scheme.