01 Mar 2024, 13:10

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 Belgian Council presidency, and in the Council’s press calendar.

2024

 

Date 1 January
Event

Belgium 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'. Preceding presidencies Spain and following presidency Hungary cooperate with Belgium.

Press contact  David Jordens (EU2024BE spokesperson for informal ministerial meetings)

 

Date 4 March
Event Energy Council
Subject

Ministers will address the state of play in terms of security of supply and preparations for winter 2024-2025. In that context, they will seek political agreement on Council recommendation on continuing coordinated demand-reduction measures for gas. They will also have an exchange of views on flexibility as an essential tool in the energy transition. The Commission will inform ministers about progress made by member states with a view to achieving the 2030 objectives for the environment, climate and energy.

This is one of several regular annual meetings of EU energy ministers.

Press contact Valeria Cozza, EU Council

 

Date 12 March
Event European Commission to present climate resilience package
Subject

The Commission's package on resilience and adaptation was set to include documents on water resilience and climate risks. In its 2024 work programme, the Commission says "we will adopt an initiative on water resilience to ensure access to water for citizens, nature and the economy, while also tackling catastrophic flooding and water shortages, as well as an initiative to identify and assess how best to manage climate risks across EU policy areas." However, as Politico reported, the water resilience element has been shelved.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 12 March
Event EEA publishes first European Climate Risk Assessment (EUCRA)
Subject

The same day the Commission's package on climate resilience is presented, the European Environment Agency also publishes the first ever European Climate Risk Assessment (EUCRA). It aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of current and future climate change impacts and risks related to the environment, economy and wider society in Europe. For preparation, read the CLEW package Ill-equipped Europe braces for impact of rising temperatures.

Press contact Antti Kaartinen, EEA

 

Date 21 - 22 March
Event European Council
Subject

This is one of four regular meetings of EU heads of state and government as the European Council.

Press contact Ecaterina Casinge, European Council

 

Date 25 March
Event Environment Council
Subject

Countries' environment ministers could give the final green light for the Nature Restoration Law.

This is one of several regular annual meetings of EU environment ministers.

Press contact Carlo Zarcone EU Council

 

Date 26 March
Event Ministerial level meeting: Towards a climate neutral and resilient society in 2050
Subject

The Climate High Level event will focus on the future of European climate policy, with the theme 'towards a climate neutral and resilient society in 2050'. This ministerial event will be an opportunity to continue the debate on post-2030 climate policy and encourage reflections among Member States on the European Commission Communication on an EU climate target for 2040 (presented on 6 February), in the context of the discussions on the next Strategic Agenda. This makes it a key meeting to form the climate policy of the 2024-2029 EU legislature.

Press contact David Jordens (EU2024BE spokesperson for informal ministerial meetings)

 

Date 3 - 4 April
Event Informal meeting of transport ministers
Subject

In the context of the Belgian Presidency of the European Union, Belgium invites transport ministers to Brussels.

Press contact David Jordens (EU2024BE spokesperson for informal ministerial meetings)

 

Date 10 April
Event European Commission to take stock of the clean transition dialogues
Subject

The Commission has been organising what it calls clean transition dialogues with industry and social partners to help implement the European Green Deal and support the decarbonisation of European industry. It will take stock of the dialogues, which have for example focussed on hydrogen or energy-intensive industries.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 15 - 16 April
Event Informal meeting of energy ministers
Subject

In the context of the Belgian Presidency of the European Union, Belgium invites energy ministers to Brussels. During the informal council, ministers will be invited to discuss one of the priorities of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union: the importance of smartening and reinforcing our energy infrastructures, and the challenges we currently face. The informal council will include four plenary sessions, with a central focus on the development of a more integrated energy infrastructure. A working lunch on the resilience of our critical energy infrastructures and a cultural event at Flagey (Brussels) are also on the programme.

Press contact David Jordens (EU2024BE spokesperson for informal ministerial meetings)

 

Date 17 April
Event EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and European Commission to present Joint Communication on a strengthened partnership with Africa
Subject

Following the succession of coups in the Sahel and West Africa, European Commission President von der Leyen made it clear in her State of the Union address on 13 September 2023, that the EU does not intend to withdraw from the field, but to rethink its strategic presence in the region, and in Africa at large: 'we need to show the same unity of purpose towards Africa as we have shown for Ukraine. We need to focus on cooperation with legitimate governments and regional organisations. And we need to develop a mutually beneficial partnership which focuses on common issues for Europe and Africa. This is why, together with High Representative Borrell, we will work on a new strategic approach to take forward at the next EU-AU Summit.'

Press contact Nabila Massrali, EEAS

 

Date 17 - 18 April
Event Informal meeting of the members of the European Council
Subject

Meeting of EU heads of state and government.

Press contact Symeon Piperidis, EU Council

 

Date 30 May
Event Energy Council
Subject

This is one of several regular annual meetings of EU energy ministers.

Press contact Valeria Cozza, EU Council

 

Date 6 - 9 June
Event European elections 2024
Subject

Every five years EU citizens choose who represents them in the European Parliament, the directly-elected institution in the EU decision-making process. In an elaborate process which involves member state governments, the parliament then votes to elect the European Commission -- the EU's executive body which is in charge of drawing up and presenting draft proposals to change EU legislation. 

The elections take place every five years and are the largest transnational elections in the world. By voting in the European elections, people living in the EU get to choose the members that will represent them in the European Parliament until 2029.

Press contact Parliament’s press service.

 

Date June
Event European Council adopts EU strategic agenda 2024–2029
Subject

Every five years, EU leaders agree on the EU's political priorities for the future. It takes place in the context of the European Parliament elections and ahead of the appointment of each European Commission. Charles Michel, president of the European Council, is leading the process by working closely with leaders of EU countries. He will set out topics for discussion at EU summits all the way through to the first half of 2024. The strategic agenda is set to be adopted at a European Council meeting in June 2024. [Find the 2019-2024 agenda here]

Press contact Ecaterina Casinge, European Council

 

Date 17 June
Event Informal meeting of the members of the European Council
Subject

Meeting of EU heads of state and government.

Press contact Symeon Piperidis, EU Council

 

Date 17 June
Event Environment Council
Subject

This is one of several regular annual meetings of EU environment ministers.

Press contact Carlo Zarcone EU Council

 

Date 18 June
Event Transport Council
Subject

This is one of several regular annual meetings of EU transport ministers.

Press contact Dimosthenis Mammonas , EU Council

 

Date 27 - 28 June
Event European Council
Subject

This is one of four regular meetings of EU heads of state and government as the European Council.

Press contact Ecaterina Casinge, European Council

 

Date 30 June
Event Member states must submit their NECP update
Subject

EU member states are currently in the process of updating their national energy and climate plans (NECP), which contain key targets and policy plans. The deadline for submitting a first draft to the Commission was 30 June 2023, and by early 2024, there were still some countries who had not sent theirs in. By end of June this year, governments must submit their final version.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date June - July
Event European Council to propose candidate for next president of the European Commission
Subject

After the elections, EU leaders will agree on and propose a candidate for the post of European Commission president for the years 2024-2029, taking into account the election results.

Press contact Ecaterina Casinge, European Council

 

Date 1 July
Event

Hungary 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'. Preceding presidencies Spain and Belgium cooperate with Hungary.

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

 

Date ~mid-July (or September)
Event Vote to elect the next president of the European Commission
Subject

The candidate for European Commisison president will present their policy priorities, and then is up for election in the European Parliament, likely in July 2024.

Press contact Parliament’s press service.

 

Date ~September, October
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 ~November
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
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