Governance of the energy union

Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the governance of the energy union and climate action

It aims to ensure that the European Union’s (EU) energy union strategy is implemented in a coordinated and coherent manner across its five dimensions.
More broadly, it also aims to ensure that the EU achieves its objectives, in particular the targets of the 2030 policy framework for climate and energy and of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Key Points

The energy union strategy has five dimensions:

energy efficiency,
energy security,
the internal energy market,
research, innovation and competitiveness.

The regulation has a number of key features.

It requires EU Member States:
to produce national integrated energy and climate plans for 2021 to 2030 by 31 December 2019, and subsequently by 1 January 2029 and every ten years thereafter;
to prepare long-term low-emission strategies with a 50-year perspective and report them to the European Commission, in view of contributing to broader sustainable development goals and the long-term goal set by the Paris Agreement;
to produce biennial progress reports on the implementation of the plans, from 15 March 2023 onwards, to track progress across the five dimensions of the energy union.

It establishes a repeated consultation process between the Commission and Member States and fosters regional cooperation between Member States, especially before the plans are finalised, and then every 10 years for the following 10-year periods. For 2021–2030, the plans need to be updated by 30 June 2024.

It requires the Commission to monitor and assess Member States’ progress towards the targets, objectives and contributions set in their national plans.

It sets out the requirements for national and EU inventory systems for greenhouse gas emissions, policies, measures and projections.

Amending legislation

Regulation (EU) 2021/1119, known as the European climate law, amends Regulation (EU) 2018/1999. It sets a binding EU target of a net domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% (compared with 1990 levels) by 2030, and undertakes to set a climate target for 2040 within 6 months of the first global stocktaking under the Paris Agreement.

Delegated acts

The Commission has the power to adopt delegated acts to adapt the national energy and climate plans template to amendments to the EU’s energy and climate policy framework that are directly and specifically related to the EU’s contributions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.
It also has the power to adopt delegated acts to take account of changes in the global warming potentials and internationally agreed inventory guidelines, to set substantive requirements for the EU inventory system and to set up the registries.

Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/1044 supplements Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 with regard to values for global warming potentials and the greenhouse gas inventory guidelines, and with regard to the EU’s inventory system:
it repeals Delegated Regulation (EU) No 666/2014 from 1 January 2021;
it applies to reports submitted by Member States from 2021 onwards;

Member States and the Commission will use the global warming potentials listed in its Annex I for the purpose of determining and reporting greenhouse gas inventories data.
Implementing acts

The Commission has adopted two implementing acts:

Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1208 on the structure, format, submission processes and review of information that Member States report in line with Regulation (EU) 2018/1999; and
Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1294 on the EU’s renewable energy financing mechanism.


The regulation repeals Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 on the monitoring and reporting mechanism for greenhouse gas emissions.

Application & Background

It has applied since 24 December 2018.

For further information, see:

Energy union (European Commission).


Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action, amending Regulations (EC) No 663/2009 and (EC) No 715/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Directives 94/22/EC, 98/70/EC, 2009/31/EC, 2009/73/EC, 2010/31/EU, 2012/27/EU and 2013/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 2009/119/EC and (EU) 2015/652 and repealing Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 328, 21.12.2018, pp. 1–77).

Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1294 of 15 September 2020 on the Union renewable energy financing mechanism (OJ L 303, 17.9.2020, pp. 1–17).

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1208 of 7 August 2020 on structure, format, submission processes and review of information reported by Member States pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 749/2014 (OJ L 278, 26.8.2020, pp. 1–132).

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/1044 of 8 May 2020 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to values for global warming potentials and the inventory guidelines and with regard to the Union inventory system and repealing Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 666/2014 (OJ L 230, 17.7.2020, pp. 1–6).

Council Decision (EU) 2016/1841 of 5 October 2016 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (OJ L 282, 19.10.2016, pp. 1–3).

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030 (COM(2014) 15 final/2, 28.1.2014).

Information exchange mechanism in the field of energy

Decision (EU) 2017/684 — sharing information on energy-related intergovernmental agreements and non-binding instruments between EU countries and non-EU countries

It sets up a system for sharing information between EU countries and the European Commission about energy agreements signed between one or several EU countries, on the one side, and non-EU countries or international organisations, on the other side.

The aim is to ensure that intergovernmental agreements signed by EU countries with non-EU countries or international organisations are consistent with EU law. This should ensure proper functioning of the internal market, enhance security of supply in the EU, and lead to better transparency and coordination in energy matters between EU countries and with the Commission.
It repeals Decision No 994/2012/EU.

Key Points

The decision mainly covers legally binding agreements between an EU country and a non-EU country (or international organisation) concerning the purchase, trade, sale, transit, storage or supply of energy in or to an EU country or involving any energy infrastructure within the EU.

When starting such negotiations, EU countries must inform the Commission as early as possible before they begin and keep the Commission regularly informed on progress through a dedicated web-based application.

Before finalising an intergovernmental agreement or amendment, the EU country concerned must take ‘utmost account’ of the Commission’s opinion on the compatibility of the agreement with EU law.
Following ratification of any energy agreement, the EU country must notify the Commission, including the reasons for any departure from the Commission’s legal opinion.

EU countries may optionally notify non-binding instruments to the Commission. These are arrangements which are not legally binding, typically memoranda of understanding, joint declarations, or joint codes of conduct, which set out prices, for example, or the development of infrastructure.

Oil and gas

Where discussions are about gas and oil, any draft agreement should be notified to the Commission for a prior (ex-ante) assessment. The Commission must inform the EU country concerned within 5 weeks of any doubts it has about compatibility of the agreement with EU law, in particular with internal energy market rules and competition law. The Commission will follow up its doubts with a full opinion within 12 weeks of the original notification.


EU countries can make their own assessment of the legal compatibility of electricity agreements with EU law at the draft agreement stage.
Where the EU country has not been able to come to a firm conclusion on this compatibility, it must notify the draft agreement to the Commission and the same procedure as in the case of oil and gas ex-ante assessment will be followed.

Time periods

The time periods for the assessment of any of the above-mentioned agreements (oil and gas, electricity) may be extended with the approval of the EU country, or shortened with the agreement of the Commission to ensure that negotiations are not unduly delayed.

Existing agreements

By 3 August 2017, EU countries must have notified the Commission of all existing intergovernmental energy agreements including the notified agreements related to electricity. Where the Commission has initial doubts about the legal compatibility with EU laws of these agreements, EU countries will be informed accordingly by the Commission within 9 months of notification.

Information sharing

Where an EU country has not indicated that certain information is confidential, the Commission will make it available in secure electronic form to all other EU countries. Where the information is confidential, the EU country will provide a summary, including at least the agreement’s subject matter, aim, scope, duration, parties involved and information on the main elements.
Requests for confidentiality do not restrict the access of the Commission itself to confidential information.
This sharing aims to encourage coordination among EU countries to:
review developments and achieve consistency in EU external energy relations;
identify common problems and appropriate action to address them, proposing guidance and solutions;
support the development of multilateral intergovernmental agreements involving groups of EU countries or the EU as a whole.

By 3 May 2018, the Commission, consulting with EU countries, will develop model clauses and guidance to improve the compliance of future intergovernmental energy agreements with EU law.

Application & Background

It has applied since 2 May 2017.

For more information, see:

Intergovernmental agreements (European Commission).


Decision (EU) 2017/684 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2017 on establishing an information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements and non-binding instruments between Member States and third countries in the field of energy, and repealing Decision No 994/2012/EU (OJ L 99, 12.4.2017, pp. 1-9)


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