Powering the future: Charting Europe’s climate and energy sovereignty

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  • Pierre Schellekens, Director ‘Energy policy: Strategy and Coordination,’ Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER), European Commission
  • Jytte Guteland, Member of Parliament, Swedish Riksdag and former Member of European Parliament
  • Szymon Kardaś, Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
  • Mats Engström, Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)

Chaired by

  • Susi Dennison, Senior Director for Strategy and Transformation and Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)

Referring to it as “our answer to the call of history”, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen lauded the achievements of the European Green Deal (EGD) in her recent State of the Union address. Yet, recognising that much work remains to be done, she urged Europeans to “stay the course” and to “stay ambitious”. A timely reminder, not least given the next phase of its implementation may be more testing than the first.

Though it is true that the political will to roll out the EGD has remarkably withstood COVID, and the energy supply pressures linked to sanctions against Russia, the coming phase of implementation may be tougher in terms of the socio-economic costs than the first, which focused on low hanging fruit. Furthermore, while public support for climate action remains high in Europe, political leaders and policymakers are preparing for a drop in tolerance for personal sacrifice in its implementation, as we head into an intense electoral period in Europe.

One of the key framings, which appeals across the different interest groups in European societies for decarbonisation, is energy sovereignty. In a suite of analyses, ECFR Senior Policy Fellows Susi Dennison, Mats Engström, and Szymon Kardaś look into the state of European energy and climate sovereignty, notably heading into 2024 and the upcoming European Parliament elections. We will draw on the findings of these publications to explore the state of play on European energy sovereignty, and how EU policymakers can work with and on this theme in the coming year. Which EU member states rank highest in energy sovereignty? Can the momentum with the green transition stand the test of political and socio-economic pressures?