05 Jul 2024, 14:10
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EU

What’s next in Europe? – Timeline of European climate and energy policy

EU
Journalists! Mark your calendars – or rather let us do it for you. Europe is complicated and even journalists from EU member states sometimes struggle to understand how climate and energy policy is made, and when institutions take key decisions. This timeline flags key European energy and climate reporting events and developments and includes concise background information necessary to jump-start your coverage.

Read CLEW's factsheet Climate in the 2024 EU elections and the making of the bloc’s next leadership for more information on key steps and developments in the 2024 election year.

You can find additional information on European climate and energy events and developments in the European Parliament’s European Green Deal legislative train schedule, in the event calendar of the Hungarian Council presidency, and in the Council’s press calendar.

2024

 

Date 1 July
Event

Hungary takes over EU Council presidency

Subject

In an interview with French Le Point, Orban laid out the five priorities for the Hungarian presidency: migration, the war in Ukraine, the green transition, defence, and the "demographic crisis". He said: "The European Union has long claimed that the green transition was not in contradiction with European competitiveness, but would actually increase it. Clearly, the opposite is true. We need to rethink this green transition before it kills our industry." The official programme was presented on 18 June.

However, as the EU will likely need almost the entire 6 months of the Hungarian presidency to establish the Parliament and then elect a new Commission, there is set to be little chance for policymaking and legislative work.

The Council represents the executive governments of member states, and the presidency rotates among EU member states every six months. It is not only responsible for setting policy priorities and planning and chairing meetings among ministers and heads of government, but must also try and reach agreement on laws with the EU’s other legislative bodies – the Commission and the Parliament. Member states holding the presidency work together closely in groups of three, called 'trios'. Preceding presidencies Spain and Belgium cooperate with Hungary. [More on the presidency]

Press contact  sec.beu[at]mfa.gov.hu (Hungary's perm rep to the EU)

 

Date 30 June and 7 July
Event French legislative elections
Subject

French president Emmanuel Macron announced the lower house of parliament snap election for June 30 and July 7 following a massive loss for his camp in a European Parliament ballot on 9 June. The president himself is not up for election and is set to stay in office until 2027, but the vote and a possible far-right prime minister could have consequences also for climate and energy policy, even in the presidential system France.

Press contact  

 

Date 4 July
Event UK general election
Subject

Voters in the UK will head to the polls on 4 July to elect Members of Parliament to the House of Commons. Labour have retained their commanding lead over the Conservatives in the latest polls. Climate change, nature and the net-zero transition are expected to play a “central role” in the election, with the environment and climate change the fifth most important issue to voters – after the cost of living, health, the economy in general and immigration and asylum, reports Carbon Brief and takes a closer look at manifestos.

Press contact  

 

Date 11 - 12 July
Event Informal meeting of member state environment ministers
Subject

The Informal Meeting of Environment Ministers will take place on 11 and 12 July 2024, at the Várkert Bazár in Budapest. Discussions will focus on climate and environmental issues such as preparations for COP29, circular economy competitiveness, resilient water management, transboundary water and air pollution, financing the green transition.

Press contact  sec.beu[at]mfa.gov.hu (Hungary's perm rep to the EU)

 

Date 15 July
Event EU agriculture and fisheries minister meeting
Subject

EU member state agriculture ministers come together for one of several regular annual meetings.

Press contact Miruna Georgescu (EU Council)

 

Date 15 - 16 July
Event Informal meeting of member state energy ministers
Subject

EU energy ministers meet in Budapest. The informal meeting will concentrate on the decarbonisation of the energy system. Related to this, the discussions will focus on issues such as the role of geothermal energy, implementation of the 2030 energy policy framework and the role of the national energy and climate plans, a resilient, flexible and integrated electricity system and the contribution of the energy sector to the new competitiveness deal.

Press contact  sec.beu[at]mfa.gov.hu (Hungary's perm rep to the EU)

 

Date 16 - 19 July
Event First sitting of the new European Parliament (maybe: election of new European Commission president)
Subject

Before this session, the newly-elected Members will form political groups based on shared political ideas. At the first plenary, the Parliament will elect its new president, vice-presidents and quaestors as well as decide on the number of MEPs who will be sitting in each parliamentary committee.

It is possible that MEPs vote to elect a new president of the European Commission during this week. if not, the next chance will be at the following sitting (8 - 11 September).

Press contact Parliament’s press service.

 

Date 8 - 10 September
Event Informal meeting of member state agriculture ministers
Subject

EU agriculture ministers meet in Budapest.

Press contact  sec.beu[at]mfa.gov.hu (Hungary's perm rep to the EU)

 

Date 19 - 20 September
Event Informal meeting of member state transport ministers
Subject

EU transport ministers meet in Budapest.

Press contact  sec.beu[at]mfa.gov.hu (Hungary's perm rep to the EU)

 

Date 23 September
Event EU agriculture and fisheries minister meeting
Subject

EU member state agriculture ministers come together for one of several regular annual meetings.

Press contact Miruna Georgescu (EU Council)

 

Date 29 September
Event National elections in Austria
Subject

Voters in Austria will head to the polls on 29 September. The far-right populist Freedom Party of Austria’s (FPÖ) has been leading in national polls and came out as the strongest party in the EU elections in June. The party is in favour of some climate policy measures such as renewables expansion, but opposes others, such as the national CO2 price or state subsidies to phase out fossil fuel heating. Find out more about the impact that far-right populist parties have on European climate efforts in CLEW's deep dive.

Press contact  

 

Date ~September, October, November
Event Hearings of Commissioners
Subject

The new European Commission president will put together the designate-college of Commissioners in close coordination with member state governments. The relevant European Parliament committees organise hearings and essentially have to agree to the individual candidates. This is a crucial opportunity to find out about priorities of the future Commission, and might yet lead to candidates being exchanged.

Press contact Parliament’s press service.

 

Date 14 October
Event EU environment minister meeting
Subject

EU member state environment ministers come together for one of several regular annual meetings.

Press contact Peristera Dimopoulou (EU Council)

 

Date 17 - 18 October
Event European Council - meeting of EU heads of state and government
Subject

EU member state heads of state and government come together for one of several regular annual meetings.

Press contact Ecaterina Casinge (European Council)

 

Date 21 - 22 October
Event EU agriculture and fisheries minister meeting
Subject

EU member state agriculture ministers come together for one of several regular annual meetings.

Press contact Miruna Georgescu (EU Council)

 

Date 8 November
Event Informal meeting of EU heads of state or government
Subject

EU member state heads of state and government meet in Budapest.

Press contact  sec.beu[at]mfa.gov.hu (Hungary's perm rep to the EU)

 

Date 18 November
Event EU agriculture and fisheries minister meeting
Subject

EU member state agriculture ministers come together for one of several regular annual meetings.

Press contact Miruna Georgescu (EU Council)

 

Date ~November, December
Event New European Commission takes office
Subject

After confirmation through a vote in the European Parliament, the Commission can start its term. The president will give instructions to each Commissioner in "mission letters", which can be a treasure trove of information for journalists. 

Press contact European Commission

 

Date 5 December
Event EU transport minister meeting
Subject

EU member state transport ministers come together for one of several regular annual meetings.

Press contact Dimosthenis Mammonas (EU Council)

 

Date 9 - 10 December
Event EU agriculture and fisheries minister meeting
Subject

EU member state agriculture ministers come together for one of several regular annual meetings.

Press contact Miruna Georgescu (EU Council)

 

Date 16 December
Event EU energy minister meeting
Subject

EU member state energy ministers come together for one of several regular annual meetings.

Press contact Peristera Dimopoulou (EU Council)

 

Date 17 December
Event EU environment minister meeting
Subject

EU member state environment ministers come together for one of several regular annual meetings.

Press contact Peristera Dimopoulou (EU Council)

 

Date 19 - 20 December
Event European Council - meeting of EU heads of state and government
Subject

EU member state heads of state and government come together for one of several regular annual meetings.

Press contact Ecaterina Casinge (European Council)

 

 

2025

 

Date 1 January
Event

Poland takes over EU Council presidency

Subject

The Council represents the executive governments of member states, and the presidency rotates among EU member states every six months. It is not only responsible for setting policy priorities and planning and chairing meetings among ministers and heads of government, but must also try and reach agreement on laws with the EU’s other legislative bodies – the Commission and the Parliament. Member states holding the presidency work together closely in groups of three, called 'trios'. Poland will cooperate with the following presidencies Denmark and Cyprus.

Press contact Adrian Biernacki &  Marta Gan, Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union

 

 

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