Press review

UFE/Press review of 11/01/19

Launch of the big national debate next January 15th
Following the protests of the Yellow Vests and in order to answer to the French citizens’ expectations, the government has prepared a “great national debate” that will take place all over the territory for three months, starting from January 15th. At about the same time, Emmanuel Macron will send an open-letter to the country, where he will detail the scope of this large consultation. The four main topics that will orientate the debate are: the energy transition, taxation and public spending, democracy and citizenship and the organisation of the State and public services. The first topic will mostly look at the challenges of buildings’ renovations, heating and mobility. Despite the recent announcement of the withdrawal of Chantal Jouanno as organiser of the debate, the National Public Debate Commission (CNDP) will remain the main guarantor of a smooth operation of the debate. This independent administrative authority will be responsible for providing spaces for debate, creating an online platform to collect citizens’ contributions and organizing “conferences with citizens chosen by drawing lots”. The name of the substitute of Chantal Jouanno will be made public on January 14th.
Source: Midi Libre, January 10th, 2019
Linky: 2 out of 5 households are now equipped
A great result for the Linky program, with more than 15,3 million smart-meters installed in 9 500 cities. Energy operators have already seized the opportunity to propose new supply offers that are adapted to various consumers’ profiles, thanks to a more in-depth knowledge of their consumption. In addition, Linky “also helps to control expenses through the control of home devices when it is the most economically sound”, said ENEDIS. In short, an effective lever to reduce its electricity bill at the service of the energy transition!
Source: Le Figaro, December 30th, 2018
Total announced the purchase of two gas-fired power plants owned by Uniper
The French oil company confirmed on December 24th, that it has “signed an agreement with EPH” in order to acquire two gas-fired power plants operated by the German Uniper and located in St Avold, from 2020. These two plants represent a capacity of 828 MW.
Source: France Info, December 27th, 2018
The European Commission announced the prolongation of EU guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy until 2022
In a press release published on January 7th, the European Commission announced its plan to extend until 2022 the validity of several guidelines on State aid, such as the guidelines for environmental protection and energy. Initially expiring in 2020, those guidelines will be extended for 2 years and will be subject to an evaluation taking the form of a “fitness check” in 2019. This assessment will involve internal analysis and bilateral or public consultations in order to feed the discussion on the future of the State aid guidelines.
Source: European Commission, January 7th, 2019
Throwback at the political agreement on ENISA regulation
On December 10th, European co-legislators found a political agreement on the “Cybersecurity” regulation, known as ENISA regulation. Without going over national competences in security matters, the mandate and the budget of EU Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) are strengthened, in particular through its coordination role of the national agencies. ENISA will conduct annual cybersecurity exercises but its inquiry competence will remain limited to cross-boarder cyberattacks. The regulation will also create European cybersecurity certification schemes, whose mandatory feature will only be decided in 2023. Thus, Member States retain control of the adoption process and the establishment of work programs through the European Cybersecurity Certification Group, composed of representatives of the national authorities. ITRE and IMCO committees will validate the political agreement on January 14th, before the ratification in plenary session and by the Council of the EU, expected in spring 2019.
Source: Council of the EU, December 10th, 2018
The Technical Expert Group on sustainable finance is consulting on the taxonomy
On December 7th, the Technical Expert Group (TEG) on sustainable finance opened two consultations to get stakeholders’ feedback on the taxonomy and its usability by Member States and financial actors. Established in July 2018 in the framework of the Action Plan on sustainable finance, this TEG is assisting the European Commission in the definition of the taxonomy, a harmonised classification of economic activities with respect to their environmental sustainability. This first round of feedback covers activities mitigating climate change, such as renewable energy, and is open until February 22nd. Economic activities participating to the generation of low-carbon energy will be discussed during the second round, that started at the TEG level in January 2019.
Source: DG Fisma, January 7th, 2019
Plenary session of the European Parliament, January 14th to 17th, Strasbourg

Committee of the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), January 23rd, in Brussels:
- Vote on the political agreement found on the Market Design directive and regulation, risk-preparedness regulation and ACER regulation;
- Consideration of draft opinion on discontinuing seasonal changes of time;
- Presentation of the Council Presidency’s program;
- Report on ongoing interinstitutional negotiations: PSI directive, Horizon Europe Program, Connecting Europe Facility.

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), January 22nd in Brussels
- Consideration of the amendments on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment (joint ECON/ENVI)
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), January 21st and 22nd, in Brussels
- Discussion on the resolution / oral question on the EU long-term strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions;

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), January 21st and 22nd, in Brussels:
-Vote on the REFIT Directive

Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN), January 21st and 22nd, in Brussels:
- Consideration of draft report on seasonal changes of time
- Exchange of views with Romanian Interim-Minister of Transport, Mrs. Rovana Plumb, on Romanian Presidency priorities

Working Party on Energy, Council of the EU, January 22nd and 29th, in Brussels

Working Party on Environment, Council of the EU, January 17th and 25th, in Brussels

Friends of the Presidency Group on the Connecting Europe Facility, Council of the EU, January 17th, in Brussels
- Examination of a revised four-column table

Working Party on Consumer Protection and Information, Council of the EU, January 18th, in Brussels:
- Examination of the Presidency compromise proposal on the REFIT Directive

Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Society, January 17th , in Brussels:
- Examination of PSI directive ahead of trilogue

Working Party on Transport – Intermodal Questions and Network, January 18th, in Brussels
- Discussion on Clean Vehicles Directive

COREPER 1, Council of the EU, January 18th in Brussels:
- “Electricity” directive and regulation: validation of the political agreement

Trilogue European Parliament / Council of the EU / European Commission, January 22nd, in Brussels:
- Trilogue on CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles ;
- Trilogue on PSI directive.

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