S&Ds will fully cooperate to steer robust legislation on the Energy Union through the Parliament

A strong Energy Union is needed to promote EU's sustainable growth, say S&Ds, fossil fuel-centric vision of energy, UN Conference against Climate Change in Paris, Kathleen Van Brempt MEP, circular economy, Dan Nica MEP, Flavio Zanonato,

The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament welcome the proposal for an Energy Union presented today by the EU Commission.

S&D vice-president on sustainability, Kathleen Van Brempt, said:

"We congratulate Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič on his tireless efforts over the last year to promote the Energy Union concept across so many member states. Together we must seize the momentum to unite our efforts and effectively coordinate the transition towards an efficient and sustainable energy landscape. Through a coherent Energy Union we will increase our energy security, and we will ensure affordable energy for our citizens and companies.

"We are happy to see a strong focus on energy poverty and proposals to tackle vulnerability through energy efficiency legislation. We, as a group, will request a specific communication on energy poverty accompanied by an action plan – in order to ensure that citizens are also at the centre of the Energy Union.

"We are convinced that a smart transition to a sustainable energy model is not only feasible but indispensable for Europe and for the world. In a week, world leaders will meet in Paris for the COP 21 climate summit, and the EU should lead by example. But we can only do so if we commit ourselves – both the EU as a whole and member states – to reaching our targets."

S&D spokesperson on energy, Dan Nica MEP, said:

"Our group stands ready to help steer all the upcoming proposals through the Parliament, in order to put in place the measures needed for an integrated internal energy market. Our economy and our society are challenged by energy imports from unstable regions, which make prices volatile, and our current pattern of consumption is unsustainable for the planet.

"Only an integrated market can ensure security of supply, decarbonisation and the move to an efficient, renewables-based economy in the most cost-effective manner. At the same time it would maximise the benefits for new industries and technological leadership, whilst ensuring protection and support are provided for our traditional industries and workforce."

S&D spokesperson on the environment, Matthias Groote MEP, said:

"The next step is to make sure that we meet the 2030 climate and energy targets, and that will only happen through an Energy Union governance anchored in legislation, and through EU community policies in which the European Parliament is be fully involved.

"Member states are not on track to meet the 20% indicative energy efficiency target for 2020. This is why we always insist on binding targets: indicative targets are not taken seriously! For 2030 we need to make the target binding and more ambitious than the disappointing indicative 27% currently on the table.

"Ultimately given the lack of binding energy efficiency targets, we need to ensure that the proposals on the energy efficiency directive and energy performance of buildings directive are strong and robust, removing existing loopholes and so-called 'flexibility'."

See the S&D position paper here