Opinion by Alice Corovessi, Managing Director, INZEB
On Jan 1, 2023, Sweden assumed the role of Council of the European Union President. The four priorities set for the six-month period of the Presidency include (i) security and unity, (ii) competitiveness, (iii) green and energy transitions, and (iv) democratic values and the rule of law.
For the green and energy transitions priority, Sweden aims to bring ‘Fit for 55’ package to a successful end in terms of the legislative work speeding up this way the energy transition and contributing positively to the climate challenges that Europe and the world face. What is highlighted in the Presidency’s programme is the urgency to address the pressing challenges of the current energy crisis, not only for the 2023 year but the subsequent years too. To support the energy security of the EU, the Swedish Presidency will promote, among others, the design of the EU’s electricity market reform.
Buildings are high on the Presidency’s agenda. The target set is to advance the work for the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) revision proposal to reduce emissions from buildings and improve the availability of charging infrastructure, contributing this way to a carbon-neutral and future-proof decarbonised building stock.
Circular economy is also high on the agenda and what has been stated is that the Presidency will work to ensure that the EU is at the forefront in this area too by monitoring and advancing the processes not only of how the consumable products are produced but also those are packaged and transported before they reach the consumer. To support the latter, the Presidency has the intention to advance the work for the revision of the Packaging Directive.
COMPANIES & INDUSTRY
According to the announced programme, Sweden recognises the role companies and industry have in the energy transition, the independence from fossil fuels, and the security because of the functional solutions they can provide. For this reason, a commitment has been put in place to work towards this direction and provide the right regulatory framework and policies to attract investments for European companies and industries to translate their energy technology ideas and solutions into marketable products and services.
What remains to be seen is the developments and achievements of the priorities that the Presidency has set. Undoubtedly, the targets and goals that have been set are stepping stones contributing to the EU’s overarching goal for carbon neutrality by 2050.