End of the Year Reception

  • Reception in Brussels


Jerzy Buzek MEP (EPP, Poland), President of the EEF

Guest Speaker

Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Deputy Director-General for Energy, European Commission


The EEF had the pleasure to welcome Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Deputy Director-General for Energy, European Commission, for its End of the Year Reception.

This discussion offered an opportunity to take stock of the situation from an energy perspective, go over the main steps and happenings of 2022 and look ahead to the year to come.

So far, 2022 has proved to be the toughest one workwise, Ms Wörsdörfer said. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the energy crisis have indeed put a lot of pressure on the European Union. Yet the European Union has been able to adopt a broad set of measures to respond to it.

Ms Deputy Director-General recalled the importance of the emergency synchronization of Ukraine to continental Europe’s electricity system – key to helping our neighbour cope with the difficult situation - ; the REPowerEU strategy to rapidly cut dependence on Russian fossil fuels imports, diversify supply, increase renewable energy and energy savings; the emergency measures to deal with energy price spikes and protect vulnerable customers; and the regulation setting binding gas storage filling targets, which has help immensely to be better prepared for this winter.

Alongside these short-term measures, longer-term structural ones are also required. Work has thus continued on the Fit for 55 package and the EC hopes it will be soon finalized – the package being crucial both to reaching our climate targets and strengthening the EU energy sovereignty.

Looking to 2023, one big piece of work on DG ENER’s programme is the revision of the electricity market design. Ms Wörsdörfer clarified the Commission’s intention is to present a proposal to be discussed through a co-legislative procedure, potentially via a fast-tracked procedure but yet with an active involvement of the European Parliament. Other than that, strategic papers on electricity storage, hydrogen, and CCUS can also be expected.

The room was packed with EEF Members and MEPs, who took the chance to ask several questions.

The points raised were very diverse: sector integration, the hydrogen accelerator, the decision of the Commission to propose several emergency measures based on article 122, the EPBD, investments in renewables and infrastructure, biomethane, woody biomass, domestic European gas exploration, the gas and hydrogen package, and others.

Ms Deputy Director-General attentively listened to all interventions, answered all questions and also seized the opportunity to provide further clarifications. She stressed that while work on the legislative pieces under discussion must continue, full implementation of the Clean Energy Package is also very much needed. All energy-related legislative proposals are to be considered as pieces of a unique, bigger puzzle, all set to work in synergy. Finally, in view of what’s to come next, she said the European Commission is very open to discussion and encouraged both industry representatives and MEPs to continue providing their input.