Back to News & Resources overview
News 04 September 2023

Top story of the week: EU post-summer agenda showcases raft of energy and research policy files for urgent finalisation

After the summer break, the European Union (EU) is back in action. With the legislative term coming to an end, there's a clear sense of urgency within EU institutions to conclude vital energy and research files before next year's European Parliament elections. This urgency is compounded by recent polling indicating a post-electoral political landscape marked by fragmentation, departing from the era of grand coalitions: a shift that may entail significant challenges in consensus-building and in managing contentious legislation.

The first two weeks post-summer break are indeed a whirlwind of crucial activities. On 4 September, the Environment Committee is scheduled to discuss the status of negotiations surrounding methane emissions reduction in the energy sector. The following day, on 5 September, the Industry Committee will host a hearing of Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner-designate for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth, jointly with the Culture Committee. This event is pivotal for confirming her appointment, and it will delve into pressing themes such as the Horizon Europe budget, association, strategic autonomy, and the east-west innovation divide. The EP Industry committee will continue its work on 7 September, when deputies will convene for a debate regarding the Critical Raw Materials Act and the REMIT proposals. An exchange of views is also scheduled with the newly appointed Green Deal Chief, Maroš Šefčovič, already Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight. Furthermore, the committee will consider whether to adopt the draft report on Small Modular Reactors.

The parliamentary activities will continue as MEPs relocate to Strasbourg the following week (11-14 September). The plenary agenda features several crucial items, including the endorsement of trilogue agreements on the Renewable Energy Directive and ReFuelEU Aviation, as well as the extension of the EU/USA agreement for scientific and technological cooperation. However, the highlight of the plenary will be the eagerly awaited State of the Union address by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, which will set the priorities for the upcoming year.

On the Council side, Spain, holding the Presidency until the end of the year, will have to push on several key dossiers. This week, the preparatory bodies of the Council will resume work on the Electricity Market Design reform, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Regulation on Methane Emissions from the energy sector, and the Industrial Emissions Directive.