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The Italian Institute of International Affairs launches the Energy Union Watch

An initiative aimed at monitoring and assessing the European Energy Union and its evolution

The Italian Institute of International Affairs launches the Energy Union Watch

Claudia Astarita

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The Energy Union represents one of the most significant proposals presented by the Junker Commission.

On 25th February 2015, the European Commission released its Energy Union Communication, where it clearly stated as main goal the one of providing "secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy for every European". To achieve this objective, the document also identifies 15 fields of actions and 40 initiatives.

It is relevant to say that the EU energy action - within which the Energy Union is framed - is based on five Guiding Dimensions: 1) Energy security, solidarity and trust; 2) A fully integrated internal energy market; 3) Energy efficiency; 4) Decarbonisation of the economy; and 5) Research, innovation and competitiveness.

An important role in this sector is played by the Italian Institute of International Affairs in Rome (IAI), which launched the project Energy Union Watch. In partnership with Edison (expert in energy), this initiative is a quarterly publication, involving the main European think tanks with an expertise in energy. It is aimed at analysing the Union to understand what it is becoming, i.e. either a union of European member states energetic policies or a mere new policy package.

This project will also try to understand the impact of the Energy Union on the European energetic system. To do so, IAI and its partners are engaged in a quantitative assessment of the actions of institutional actors that should help both the stakeholders and the public opinion to understand what has been done so far. Furthermore, through this activity, IAI aims at suggesting new comments and recommendations.

The project is quite ambitious and innovative for Italy itself since it puts in evidence the strengths and weaknesses of the energetic policy implementation, raising awareness among citizenship as well as transparency on the activities of institutional actors. Last but not least, in order to offer a broader perspectives to consultants, researchers and politicians, IAI intends to monitor not only the activities of the Commission but also those of the Council and the European Parliament, particularly focusing on the Mediterranean.

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