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INSIGHTS
BRUSSELS
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ru on key EU policy developments


A regular alert
Issue 27 February 2016
Digital and Energy drives 2016
legislative work programme
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EU, what
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Digital Paving the way for a Digital Single Market 4
E-Commerce and Online Services

Networks and Cybersecurity

EU Digital Single Market, Packages of Initiatives for 2015

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Energy 2016: translating the EU strategy into


new legislative proposals 11
Sustainability 11
Security of Supply

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Competitiveness 14
EU Energy Policy: A multi-faceted approach for 2016

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EU, what else?

The complexity and diversity of issues on the table of EU


policy makers is set to increase in the coming months. This
comes on top of European challenges old and new which
threaten the very essence of the European Union project.
The EU and its institutions have never had to bear the weight
of so many pressures at any one time. From minimising the
risks and impact of a new economic slow-down to the stabilization and governance of the Eurozone, from enhanced cooperation on the security front and de-escalation of conflicts
in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region to the scrutiny of doubtful national measures that may breach European
legal standards and the resettlement of the UK within the
EU, its unsurprising that public confidence in the Unions
actions is at an ebb.
Decades of vague and ungainly communication of and around
EU activities, the conflict between peoples expectations and
the EUs empowerment, waning political energy and leadership, as well as inaction at the national level despite declared
engagement, continue to overshadow the question of the cost
for citizens, business and the wider world of not having the
EU in place.
The response to that question cannot be maintenance of the
status quo. Nor can it be a retreat of the EU bureaucracy into
its bubble or a restructuring whereby everything needs to
change, so everything can stay the same in the words of Tomasi di Lampedusa in his novel The Leopard. The debate

at the EU summit later in February and the exchanges on the


UKs position in the EU to follow throughout the year around
the new settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union can and should offer an opportunity for candid
and thorough reflection on what the EU should stand for. A
new ambitious project for the EU with a mission and goals
with the potential to re-engage European citizens.
Some early signs of a change of mind-set can be perceived
in the Commissions work programme for 2016. It looks
much more focused in terms of the number of legislative proposals to be tabled and oriented towards sectors and issues
that have a direct impact on people and business life. In this
edition of Insight Brussels we examine two of the 23 policy
areas covered by the EC programme that in our view are more
subject to review, chiefly Energy and Digital. Meanwhile,
there are still around 400 legislative proposals under examination by the European Parliament and the Council, and a
number of so-called delegated and implementing legislative
acts to be finalised, primarily by the European Commission
in consultation with experts from the 28 Members States to
ensure effective implementation at the national level of EU
laws that have already been adopted.
This last stretch of the EU law-making process is at least as
important as forthcoming legislative proposals to be tabled.

Leonardo Sforza, Managing Director

Digital
Paving the way for
a Digital Single
Market
In 2016, the European Commission plans to translate all
the initiatives announced in the Digital Single Market
(DSM) strategy of May 2015 into individual legislative
and non-legislative proposals. Besides the first two proposals presented in December 2015 on cross-border portability of online content services and on the revision of
the copyright framework, the Commission will this year
address several other major topics, such as geo-blocking, cybersecurity, online platforms and allocation of the
radio spectrum.
The European Parliament is already making its voice
heard, with the adoption of a non-legislative report on
19 January, in which it calls on the Commission to table
its reforms without delay, while focusing on increasing
consumer choice online. European stakeholders are also
actively contributing to the debate given the many financial, legal and cultural interests at stake. This January,
there still seems to be a long way to go before achieving
an operational DSM, but 2016 will undoubtedly be an intensive legislative year on the digital dossiers.

E-Commerce and Online Services


> Proposal on phasing out Geo-blocking
Proposal in May
Geo-blocking refers to commercial practices that prevent online customers from accessing and purchasing a product or a
service from a website based in another Member State. The
European Commission considers this practice to be unjustified because it fragments the internal market, preventing consumers from buying products that are only available outside
of their own Member State. The Commission is planning to
break down unjustified commercial barriers, for example the
charging of different prices or the offer of a different range of
goods depending on a consumers country of residence. It
could also include targeted change to the e-commerce rules.
During a Council meeting at the end of January, the European Ministers for Industry expressed their support for the
Commissions approach. On this occasion, the first results of
a public consultation on geo-blocking held in 2016 were also
presented. A large majority believe that geo-blocking creates
significant obstacles to the single market and therefore call
for a legislative solution, but many companies are strongly
opposed to requiring traders to sell and deliver goods outside
of the areas where they would normally do business. The
Commission is expected to present a dedicated legislative
proposal in May 2016.
Reforming geo-blocking across the EU is a sensitive issue
as it impacts the business model of many service providers
and broadcasters. The English Premier League underlined
that any legislative initiative must be approached with great
care and should respect both contractual freedom and territorial exclusivity which are key for a successful and sustainable
future for the creative industries. On the contrary, the European Consumer Organisation BEUC claimed that, if consumers
could purchase content available in other Member States, they
would have less of a reason to turn to piracy.

> Proposal for a cross-border Parcel


Delivery Directive
Proposal in May
On 22 December 2015, the European Commission confirmed
its intention to propose rules to make cross-border parcel delivery cheaper in order to boost e-commerce. Almost 4 billion
parcels are ordered online every year in the EU, but very few
citizens order parcels from other Member States, as the costs
are broadly considered too expensive. This conclusion was
drawn from the public consultation on parcel delivery that
was held in 2015, in which many consumers who indicated that they had considered buying online tended to decide
against the purchase due to high delivery prices.
The Commission will now work on measures to improve
regulatory oversight in the sector, and ensure transparency
of prices. It aims to present initiatives to this effect in May
2016, but rules out price regulation of the parcel sector. For
the moment, the Commission has announced some targeted
measures but has not clarified what form these will take.

> Revision of the Copyright Framework


Proposals in June
The copyright reform will be one of the hot topics for the European institutions this year. In December last year, the Commission published an action plan to modernize EU copyright rules, citing several areas of work which will lead to
legislative proposals in 2016. More specifically, the Commission intends to put forward measures to ensure a balanced
distribution of the value generated by the diffusion of copyright-protected content between rights holders and online
intermediaries. It also plans to adapt copyright exceptions
to digital and cross-border environments, especially text and
data mining for research and education purposes. Most importantly, the Commission will eventually put forward measures to improve copyright enforcement across the EU.
Many stakeholders reacted to this announcement, triggering
a heated debate on EU copyright reform. The Society of Audiovisual Authors welcomed the Commissions commitment on
authors remuneration and tackling piracy. Equally, the Authors group (representing over 500,000 authors) agreed with
the Commissions plans to provide an effective and balanced
enforcement system. On the other hand, associations defending users rights criticised the Commissions lack of ambition
and clarity, as well as its piecemeal strategy of fragmenting
the reform instead of tackling all issues at once.
To reform the EU copyright regime, the Commissions approach will be manifold. The first legislative proposals, expected in June 2016, will tackle the issues of the extension
of exceptions (text and data mining for education purposes,
illustration for teaching and panorama) and cross-border distribution of television and radio programmes. Later this Autumn, the Commission will present a legislative proposal on
the enforcement of the legal framework of intellectual property rights. A public consultation on this issue is currently
underway and will close on 1 April.

> Review of the Audiovisual Media


Services Directive
Proposal in June
In 2016, the European Commission intends to review the
Audiovisual Media Services Directive which governs EUwide coordination of national legislation on all audiovisual
media, both traditional TV broadcasts and on-demand services. The main objective of its review is to adapt the regulatory framework to the latest technological developments and
the emergence of new audiovisual media (on demand platforms, streaming services, etc.). The European Commission
also plans to take the opportunity in this review to update
rules related to the promotion of European works, the protection of minors and consumers, and the fight against racial
and religious hatred.

In a preliminary assessment of the answers given to its


public consultation, the European Commission observed
that stakeholders were in favour of maintaining the status
quo as regards accessibility for people with disabilities, the
provisions related to events of public interest and measures
dealing with the right of reply. On the other hand, it noted
that there is no clear consensus on protection of minors and
promotion of European works. The results will feed into the
preparation of the legislative proposal which is expected to be
presented in June.

> Comprehensive Assessment on the Role


of Online Platforms
Communication in Q2

> Proposal for a Regulation on Cross-border


Portability of Online Content Services
Proposal in 2015 Agreement in Q4

In the coming months, the European Commission is expected to publish the results of its public consultation on the role
of online platforms, which closed in January. The Commission believes that the emergence of platforms can bring many
benefits to consumers and suppliers via e-commerce, but is
concerned about the use of personal data, the protection of
consumers and the growing bargaining power of these platform on smaller market players. The Dutch presidency of the
Council claimed at an informal meeting on competitiveness
that online platforms raise several questions, notably in the
areas of taxation and responsibility. In a public consultation
on this issue closed held in 2015, respondents identified uncertainties regarding rights and obligations for users and providers as a major problem for the development of platforms
and collaborative economy. They pointed out that platforms

Films, music or e-books purchased in one EU country are


not always accessible when people travel to other Member
States, for example on holidays or a business trip. Considering this as an obstacle to free movement of goods, the European Commission in December presented a proposal for a
regulation to allow cross-border portability of online content
services. In practice, this means that EU residents who are
temporary in another European country will be able to have
access to the digital content they have purchased or subscribed to at home.

should be more transparent, especially regarding current service providers, search results, mechanisms for making criticism, and terms and conditions for the use of data. A combination of regulatory solutions, self-regulatory and market
dynamics could solve these problems, according to them.
Many stakeholders expressed concerns over the Commissions plan to create a uniform regulatory framework. EDIMA,
the European association representing major online platforms (Amazon, Apple and Facebook), stated that platforms
should not be subjected to any increased legal obligations or
unreasonable or unworkable conditions, pointing out that current legislation already addresses many of the Commissions
concerns and there is no reason to create a rule for online
platforms that is different than a physical store. On the other
hand, academic institutions such as the Cologne Research
Institute recommended that the EU guarantee a level playing
field and that transparency of online platforms is important in
order to ensure trust in them. Jean Tirole, 2014 Nobel Laureate in Economics, stated that the regulation should not build
up entry barriers to new players and that authorities will have
to face many challenges, such as discrimination of users on
the basis of their preferences or labour, and fiscal issues
caused by the sharing economy (such as Airbnb or Uber).
It is the first time that this sensitive issue is being addressed
by the Commission. The results of the consultation will feed
into a comprehensive assessment on the role of platforms
the results of which will be published in the first half of 2016.
It is not certain yet if the European Commission will translate
this exercise into a more binding legislative proposal.

While the proposal was well received by consumer organisations, it has raised concerns among creative stakeholders
such as producers, distributors and broadcasters, who complain of a lack of legal certainty, especially surrounding the
vague notion of temporary presence in another Member
State. Concerns were also raised on the impact it might have
on current licensing practices for rights holders. The International Federation of Film Producers Associations underlined
their position that licensing distribution rights by territory remains fundamental to the financing, production and distribution of content not just in the EU, but worldwide.
The proposal will be examined by the Parliament and the
Council in the coming months, with a view to reach an agreement by the end of the year.

Networks and Cybersecurity


> Proposal on a Decision on the 700MHz
Band
Proposal in February
The Commission is also planning to harmonise the use of
radio spectrum in the EU, focusing on the 700 MHz band.
This Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band is currently used by
terrestrial broadcasting networks and wireless microphones,
and will be fundamental in coming years for the development
of many more new devices with online connections (i.e. the
Internet of Things). However, EU Member States still consider the allocation of UHF band to be a national competence
and have already started to distribute it according to their
domestic rules. In order to allocate the UHF band in a harmonised manner, the Commission presented this February a
decision which aims to reorganise, by 2020, the allocation of
radio spectrum by dividing it into two parts: the upper part of
radio spectrum (the 700 MHz band) will be dedicated exclusively to mobile operators, whereas audiovisual services and

The provisional deal aims to improve cybersecurity capabilities in Member States, with the establishment of a list of essential services operators, which refer to companies active in
the energy, financial services, banking, transport or healthcare sectors. They will be required to ensure that they are
robust enough to resist cyber-attacks and will have to notify
public authorities designated by Member States of any significant cyber incidents. Digital services providers also fall
within the scope of the Directive, including online marketplaces, search engines and cloud services. Concretely, internet companies such as Google, Amazon or eBay will have to
ensure that their infrastructures are safe and to report major
incidents.
This directive still needs to be formally approved by both the
Council and the Parliament in spring 2016. Thereafter, Member States will have 21 months to implement the Directive
into their own national law systems, and will have another 6
months to identify the essential service operators.

TV broadcasters will be moved to the lower part (the sub700 MHz band), including digital terrestrial television (DTT)
channels. The chosen legislative instrument is a decision,
which will now be examined by the Parliament and Member
States in the coming months, for an adoption expected at the
end of 2016.

> Communication on Cloud Computing


Communication in March
On 15 January 2016, the European Commission announced
that it will present in spring a proposal on the development
of cloud computing in the EU. The results of a recent consultation addressing cloud computing indicate that a clear
distinction between personal and non-personal data should
be made, according to the respondents. A majority of citizens and businesses agree with the default policy that would
make data generated by publicly funded research available
through open access. Finally, respondents consider the existing legal framework to be obsolete, especially regarding the
development of the Internet of things and data related issues,
affecting the use of the related services and goods, as well
as users trust in them. These results will feed into the Commissions upcoming Communication, which is expected in
March.

> Proposal for a Network and Information


Security Directive
Formal approval in Q1-Q2
Early in December 2015, the European Parliament and the
Council of Ministers achieved a key component of the European cybersecurity strategy by reaching an informal agreement on the Network and Information Security (NIS) directive.

The European Commission also plans to


launch in June-July 2016 a public-private
partnership with the industry which will
focus on research and innovation in order
to develop the EUs competitiveness in the
cybersecurity field. A public consultation is
open until 11 March 2016 in order to gather
stakeholders views on the areas of work or
on additional measures to be included.

> Review of the Satellite and Cable


Directive
Proposal in June
The Commission plans to review the 1995 Satellite and
Cable directive with a view to improving the cross-border
distribution of television and radio programmes via satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission. The rationale is
to update the legislation in response to technological developments and new business models of content distribution.
A public consultation in late 2015 aimed to assess whether
the current country-of-origin regime needs to be enlarged to
cover broadcasters online transmissions and whether further measures are needed to improve cross-border access to
broadcasters services in Europe. Some stakeholders suggest
that this would be the most effective way of implementing the
Commissions portability proposals. The results of the consultation are expected to be published in the coming months
before the presentation of the corresponding legislative proposal in June.

> Revision of the Telecom Package


Proposal in June-July
The Commissions DSM strategy foresees a revision of the
telecoms package in 2016. While provisions on roaming
charges and net neutrality were set out last October with the
adoption of the previous package, the European Commission
already plans to revise the telecom regulatory framework
by tackling the issue of the wholesale market mechanism
for roaming, introducing investment incentives in ultrafast
broadband and ensuring openness of the telecom market to
new market entrants. In its report entitled Towards a Digital
Market act adopted on 19 January 2016, the European Parliament emphasised that investment in ultra-fast broadband
and a stable regulatory framework were a requirement for any
digital progress, but warned that competition rules should be
enforced in order to avoid the creation of oligopolies at European level, which would cause a negative impact for consumers. The Commission announced that it will present its
proposals in June-July 2016.

> Revision of the e-privacy directive


Consultation in Q2 proposal in 2017
The European institutions have been struggling to agree on
the EU Data Protection Reform since 2012. On 15 December 2015, the European Parliament and the Council finally
reached an agreement that will make way for data protection
systems at European level, replacing the current patchwork
of national data protection legislation. Users will have much
greater control over their data, such as the right to be deleted, forgotten or have personal information corrected. A one
stop shop mechanism will also be created. In case of conflict,
companies will refer to this single entity, which will be a data
protection authority of the country where their headquarters
are. The agreement must still be formally adopted by the

European Parliament and Council at the beginning 2016.The


new rules will come into force two years later.
Following formal adoption of the Data Protection Reform, the
Commission intends to prepare a legislative proposal for a
directive that reforms the ePrivacy directive. Its aim will be
to align with the new data protection reform, and will focus
more on provisions regarding cookies, traffic and location
data, and unsolicited communications.
As a preliminary assessment of the challenges and objectives
of its future reform, the Commission is likely to open a public
consultation on the ePrivacy directive at the end of March.
It will also hold workshops with stakeholders and telecom
groups that have already expressed their concerns about the
revision of the current directive, which could increase regulation of their sector while not imposing similar rules on big
internet companies. Further details will be revealed this summer, before a formal presentation of the proposal in 2017.

EU Digital Single Market:


Packages of Initiatives for 2016

Revision of the
Satellite and Cable
Directive
Proposal in June

Proposal on a
Directive on the
700MHz Band
Proposal in February

Proposal on
Phasing out
Geo-Blocking
Proposal in
May
Launch of
Cybersecurity PPP
June-July
Revision of the
e-Privacy Directive
Consultation in Q2
proposal in 2017

Proposal for a Regulation on


Cross-border portability of
online content services
Proposal in 2015 Agreement in Q4

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Comprehensive
assessment on the role
of Online platforms
Communication in Q2

Proposal
on cloud
computing
Proposal in
March

Revision of the
Telecom Package
Proposal in JuneJuly

Review of the
Audiovisual
Media Services
Directive
Proposal in June

Cross-border delivery
of packages
Proposal in May

Legislative proposals
on Copyright
Proposal in June

Energy
2016 : translating
the EU strategy
into new legislative
proposals
In its first State of the Energy Union released at the end of
2015, the European Commission reviewed the progress made
since the release of the Strategy and identified key legislative and non-legislative initiatives to be delivered throughout
2016. In the words of Maro efovi, the European Commission vice president for energy union, 2016 will be the year
of delivery putting in place most of the pieces of legislation
linked to the three European energy objectives of sustainability, security of supply and competitiveness.

Sustainability
The EU is well on track to meet its EU 2020 targets in greenhouse gas emissions, with levels expected to be 24% lower
in 2020 than in 1990 (against the binding target of 20%). The
EU is also likely to exceed its renewable energy goals with
nineteen Member States expected to exceed their national renewable energy targets. However, the European Commission
believes that further efforts are needed to put the right decarbonisation incentives in place, especially as regards energy
efficiency and the 2030 long-term energy targets.

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> Revision of the Renewable Energy


Package
Proposal in Q3-Q4
Building on the agreed target of 27% renewable energy in the
EU energy mix by 2030, the European Commission intends
to put forward a new Renewable energy Energy Package
in 2016, comprising a new Renewable Energy Directive for
2030 and a proposal on bioenergy sustainability. The package is expected to progressively harmonise national support
schemes for renewables, with the objective of addressing
market distortions and avoiding overcompensation. Representatives of renewables industries already fear a reduction
in public support schemes for renewable energy sources and
are calling for more legal certainty so as not to jeopardise
long-term investments. In a separate proposal, which will
come under strong scrutiny from biofuel producers, the Commission also plans to include measures related to biomass
and biofuels, with a particular focus on their impact on the
environment, land-use and food production.
Preliminary work started at the end of 2015 with the European Commission opening a public consultation to collect
stakeholders views on policy options for the upcoming renewable energy directive by February. A separate consultation on bioenergy sustainability policy will be conducted in
the first quarter of 2016. Both consultations will inform the
decision making process resulting in the presentation of the
package by the end of 2016.

> Revision of EU Emissions Trading


System
Agreement in Q3
In July 2015, the European Commission presented a proposal to revise the EU Emissions Trading system for the period after 2020. The proposal intends to increase the pace of
emissions cuts after 2020 by reducing the overall number of
emission allowances at an annual rate of 2.2% from 2021 onwards, instead of the current 1.74%. This will result in an
automatic increase in carbon costs, thus having a particular
impact on energy intensive industries. The Alliance of Energy Intensive Industries already warned that a linear cut in
ETS will de-industrialise Europe before it decarbonises European manufacturing.
The European Parliament and the Council of the European
Union are currently discussing the proposal. A public hearing is scheduled at the European Parliament on 18 February
with a view to inform the debate before the finalisation of the
Parliaments report which is expected in November. The final
adoption of the proposal will occur in 2017.

> Revision of the Energy Efficiency


Directive
Proposal in Q3
In a progress report on the implementation of the target of
20% energy efficiency by 2020, the European Commission
remarks that collective efforts made by Member States would
currently correspond to only 17.6% by 2020. Therefore, the
Commission intends to reap the full potential of energy efficiency in 2016 by putting forward a new Energy Efficiency
Directive. The proposal will align the regulatory framework to
the indicative EU-level target of at least 27% energy efficiency
by 2030. It will also include provisions for large companies
to carry out regular energy audits. Without waiting for the
proposal to be actually presented, the European Commission
already announced that it will be reviewed a second time by
2020 with the objective to elevate the EU target to 30% energy efficiency by 2030.
In order to prepare its legislative proposal, the European
Commission opened a public consultation to collect stakeholders views at the end of 2015. The consultation will close
on 29 January, with an estimated presentation of the proposal by the end of 2016.

> Revision of the Energy Labelling


Directive
Agreement in Q3
In July 2015, the European Commission proposed a revision
of the Energy Labelling Directive, including provisions for a
single energy labelling scale from A to G and a digital database for new energy efficient products. For producers, the
new measures implies that they will have to sell their new

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products with the new scale and register their products in a


database accessible to Member State authorities to facilitate
compliance checks.
The legislative work is currently proceeding under the co-decision procedure between the European Parliament and the
Council of the European Union. The Industry committee of
the European Parliament is expected to adopt its report in
May before an adoption in plenary session in June. Inter-institutional negotiations are likely to start during summer.

> Strategy for heating and cooling


Communication in Q1
Heating and cooling account for around half of the EUs energy use, and are expected to remain the largest energy demand drivers in the long term. While uncertainties remain
about adapting heating and cooling use to meet the 2030
targets, the heating or cooling market is also fragmented and
no single market has so far emerged either nationally or EUwide. Instead, heating markets are local and are composed by
many different technologies and economic players
In this context, the European Commission intends to release
a Strategy for heating and cooling in February 2016 to drive
the transformation of the sector, maximise the use of potentials and deploy solutions for demand reduction. It will give
guidance to allow driving actions by stakeholders and Member States on areas where better synergies between current
EU instruments could be exploited or where EU and national
regulatory frameworks should be complemented.

Security of supply
The ongoing Ukraine crisis, persistent low oil prices, new
projects for gas pipelines from Russia and the nuclear agreement with Iran have shown that Europe needs to support a
more coherent foreign and energy policy to better take into
account geopolitical developments. As such, in 2016, the European Commission will put forward a certain number of proposals to better address current challenges in energy supply.

> Revision of the Security of Gas supply


Regulation
Proposal in Q1
In February, the European Commission will present a revision of the Regulation on the security of gas supply to improve the EUs resilience to supply disruptions. The proposal
is expected to include a clearer definition of the consumers
to be protected in case of a crisis; mechanisms for enhanced
cooperation between neighbouring Member States and tools
to increase access to necessary confidential information in
case of an alert.
In 2015, the European Commission undertook a stakeholder
consultation which attracted around 100 contributions from
companies and associations. While a majority supported an
improvement in standards, a number of EU Governments and
transmission system operators (TSOs) oppose any binding
commitment, leaving a decision on regional approach to the
Member States. Many submissions to the public consultation
highlighted the importance of reverse flows, energy storage
and LNG for security of supply. All these issues will be discussed during the formal revision of the regulation which will
start at the beginning of 2016.

> Revision of the Security of Electricity


supply Regulation
Proposal in Q2
The Commission intends to put forward a proposal to revise
the Security of Electricity Supply by summer 2016. The revision will deal with risk identification and preparedness relating to security of electricity supply, in particular with how
Member States should prepare themselves and co-operate
with others.
Following a public consultation launched in 2015, the European Commission communicated that 75 respondents
replied, mostly companies active in the field of generation,
transmission, distribution and/or supply, as well as professional associations. Whilst acknowledging the need for a
common approach and more regional co-operation, a significant number of stakeholders stated that there should be
sufficient room for tailor-made, national responses to security of supply concerns, as there are substantial differences
between national electricity systems.

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> Revision of the decision on


Intergovernmental agreements in the field
of energy
Proposal in Q1
The Commission is also preparing a proposal to revise the
current Decision on intergovernmental agreements in the
field of energy. The proposal will aim at improving the information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) between Member States and third
countries. The Commission wants to carry out compliance
checks on IGAs with EU legislation and policies after the
conclusion of such agreements. Given the sensitivity of the
information included in the highly political and commercial
agreements, the debate in Brussels promises to be lively during the negotiation process between EU officials and national
representatives.

> Strategy for Liquefied Natural Gas and


Gas Storage (LNG)
Communication in Q1
In January, the European Commission put forward a strategy
to explore the full potential of LNG and gas storage, especially as a back-up in crisis situations. The strategy tackles
the issues of LNG access points within the internal market
and discuss options to overcome obstacles related to LNG
imports, in particular from the United States. Over a hundred responses were received during the public consultation
which was open until 30 September 2015.

> Communication on Energy


interconnections
Communication in Q3
With regard to electricity infrastructure, the European Commission has noted that 22 Member States are on track to
reach the 10% electricity interconnection capacity target for
2020. In order to upgrade the objectives in the longer term,
the Commission foresees a Communication in 2016 on the
necessary measures to reach the 15% electricity interconnection target for 2030.

Competitiveness
The European Commission acknowledges the underperformance of the EU energy system in terms of investment,
competition and regulatory fragmentation. To address such
a gap, it will introduce in 2016 a new proposal on Electricity
Market Design, a topic of utmost importance to the energy
business community.

> Proposal for an Electricity Market Design


Directive
Proposal in Q3
In 2016, the European Commission will put together a proposal on Electricity Market Design to improve the full integration of new market players, and particularly renewables.
The objective of the proposal will also be to connect up the
wholesale and retail markets by strengthening regional cooperation and increasing cross-border trade. The presentation
of the proposal is expected in the second half of 2016.

> Implementation of State aid guidelines


for the environment and energy
Ongoing
In its State of the Energy Union report, the European Commission also highlighted its will to make full use of the tools
of its competition policy to guarantee that Member States
support for their national energy market is in line with the
EU State Aid Guidelines for the environment and energy, as
adopted in 2014. In practical terms, this means that the European Commission may investigate in more depth Member
States practices on granting aid to market players, in order to
ensure that such practices are made in a competitive bidding
process on the basis of clear, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria.

> Allocation of EU funds for Research and


Innovation
Ongoing
Taking into account that research and innovation are para-

Taking stock of the 320 answers to its public consultation


launched in 2015 to prepare its proposal, the Commission
notes that a large number of stakeholders see a need for
legal measures to speed up the development of cross-border balancing markets. Most stakeholders also supports the
full integration of renewable energy sources into the market
through full balancing obligations for renewables, phasing
out priority dispatch and removing subsidies during negative
price periods. They also point at specific regulatory barriers
to demand response, primarily with regard to the lack of a
standardised and harmonised framework.

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mount to accelerating the EU energy transition, the European


Commission will make full use in 2016 of its financing tools
to support research projects. Throughout 2016, the European Union will focus on providing financial support via its
Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET), its European Fund
for Strategic Investment (EFSI), its new Innovation Fund,
its Modernisation Fund and its overarching Horizon 2020
Framework programme.

EU Energy Policy:
A multi-faceted approach for 2016

Revision of
the Security of
Electricy Supply
Regulation
Proposal in Q2
Revision of the
Energy Efficiency
Directive
Consultations in Q1 Proposal in Q3
Allocation
of EU
funds for
R&D
Ongoing

Revision of the
Decision on
Intergovernmental
agreements in the
field of energy
Proposal in Q1
Strategy for
Heating and
cooling
Communication in
Q1

15

Revision of the EU
Emissions Trading
System
Agreement in Q3

Revision of the
renewable Energy
Package
Consultations in Q1 Proposal in Q3

Proposal for an
Electricity Market
Design Directive
Proposal in Q3

Strategy for liquiefied


natural gas
Communication in Q1
Revision of the
Security of Gas
Supply Regulation
Proposal in Q1
Revision of the Energy
Labelling Directive
Agreement in Q3

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