Research Tour: How is the EU balancing climate action and the energy crisis?

We are inviting: Journalists based in Europe
05 Dec - 07 Dec 2022
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Following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the EU faces significant challenges in its efforts to address rising energy prices and its attempt to substitute large fossil energy deliveries from Russia. As the bloc has embarked on the path to climate neutrality by 2050 with its landmark Green Deal policy package, there is one key question: do the challenges of the crisis and efforts to tackle it derail or assist EU climate policy? The Clean Energy Wire (CLEW) Brussels Research Tour, jointly organised with Ecologic Institute, aims to offer insights into EU policy to deal with the crisis and its implications on the bloc’s move to climate neutrality. Is there conflict or synergies? The tour gives an introduction to relevant institutions and actors in Brussels, their powers and constraints, and the way they interact on the way out of the crisis.

Application deadline is closed for this tour.

Empty petrol station, photo: Carel Mohn

Have reduced fossil energy supplies from Russia derailed or assisted EU climate policy? As European Union member states find ways to secure alternative energy supplies, how are the EU’s responses to the climate and energy crisis being balanced? Countries like Germany saw Russian fossil gas as a bridge fuel for the energy transition, but with this key part of the puzzle largely gone, many member states have to find new ways to meet energy demand while working towards a greener future.

Decisions at the EU level on energy and climate policy determine what can and must happen at the country level. At the same time, national interests can influence decisions on a EU level, with consequences across the continent. What happens in Brussels is of key importance for national policy, and understanding the politics and the actors is crucial for the debates and their impact on domestic issues.

Developing renewables is now seen as key to ensuring energy supply security, as well as reaching climate targets. The move to a climate-neutral, fossil-fuel-free energy system can mitigate import dependence in the longer term, while improving energy efficiency. Moving to domestic renewable energy sources and new fuels – such as hydrogen or synthetic fuels – are important steps for climate action and, if done right, will also entail a diversification of supplier countries. At the same time, EU actions have faced criticism. Many politicians, NGOs, researchers and even finance experts have questioned e.g. the decision to label nuclear and fossil gas projects as sustainable in the EU's taxonomy.

These plans require support from the EU and its member states. The Brussels Research Tour aims to offer insights into EU policy to tackle the energy crisis and its implications on the bloc’s move to climate neutrality. In meetings with experts, policymakers, business and NGO representatives, the tour will provide essential background on EU climate and energy policymaking and cover topics of relevance to national policies. The participants will get first-hand insights into the decision-making process in Brussels, the roles of the European Commission and the European Parliament, as well as the ways business associations and civil society represent their interests. Key processes under the European Green Deal and their expected impact on member states will also be highlighted, and the tour will offer an excellent opportunity for networking and contact building.

Frequently asked questions on how to apply, costs and logistics

Who is eligible for the research tour? And how can I apply?

The research tour is open to journalists from all over Europe (country of primary residence).

To apply, please click on the red 'sign up' button above that will take you to the webform.

Please note that applications in any other language than English will not be accepted.

By submitting your application and upon its success, you agree that your name, associated media outlet, country of primary residence and email address will appear on the list shared with all participants if your application is successful. All data necessary to organise the tour will be shared with the Media Service Unit/Directorate-General for Communication of the European Parliament.

What languages will be spoken during the tour?

All presentations during the workshop will be in English, or otherwise live translated into English.

Are there any costs for tour participants?

Participation in the research tour is free of charge. Furthermore, all expenses incurred during the tour, including food, accommodation and local transportation will be covered by Clean Energy Wire. The Directorate-General for Communication of the European Parliament will cover the costs one hotel night in Brussels and the transport from Brussels to the home destination of each participant.

Journalists or editorial staff who have made an internal commitment not to accept free services from third parties, or who do not wish to participate in the research trip free of charge for other reasons, may pay for their own travel and share of accommodation and meals. Please contact us directly at

What about travel arrangements?

Selected participants will organise their own travel to Amsterdam, and back from Brussels independently, and will be reimbursed for their expenses after the event. Do not book anything before you get the confirmation that you can take part. When arranging travel, participants are kindly asked to consider climate-friendly modes of transportation where viable and reasonable. Please keep in mind the budgetary constraints of up to 400 euro return connection for economy class travel. Participants who would like to cover their expenses on their own (travel, food, accommodation) can get an invoice upon request after the tour.

The tour will most likely start on 3 March at 5.00 p.m. and will end on 6 March around 4 p.m. A more detailed programme will be published about one month prior to the start of the tour.

All successful applicants will be notified on how to claim reimbursement ahead of the tour. It is generally not possible to reimburse travel expenses in cash.

What are the deadlines?

Deadline for applications is 31 January 2024. 

Please make sure to have access to your email, and do check the spam folder. If your application has been successful you will receive a confirmation email from CLEW no later than 6 February. In this event, please confirm your participation by 12 pm CEST on 9 February. Otherwise your place will be offered to another applicant.

What if I need a visa?

If you require a letter of invitation for your visa application, please let us know by sending an email to Please make sure you have a visa appointment at your embassy or consulate well before the research tour begins to leave enough time for visa processing.

Note: we do not reimburse visa fees or insurance costs.

I get an error message saying I’m over the character limit, but I don’t think I am?

The character limit is specified in the boxes. Note that the limit includes paragraph breaks. If you have removed all paragraph breaks and are otherwise 100 percent certain that you are below the limit specified, try using a different internet server. For example, if you have previously tried submitting unsuccessfully via Google Chrome, try Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Safari.

I have submitted an application but have not received a confirmation of receipt.

Please check your spam folder for an automatically generated email which will ask you to confirm that you submitted an application successfully.

You will then hear from CLEW regarding the outcome of your application no later than 6 February 2024.

What are the rules of citation during the tour?

Interviews and public debates between journalists and speakers follow different rules and practices in different parts of the world. To make the context of our media trip clear for all involved, we would like to set out the following framework guiding the interaction with participating journalists:

Quotes and interviews

  • We work on the basis that statements made by participants can be quoted by the journalists present in their media reports. However, during this tour we will have more exceptions from this general rule, so please ask us or the speakers if you're are not sure.
  • If speakers do not want to be quoted, we ask them to inform participating journalists where this is the case. Remarks may then be made "off the record" and will not be quoted.
  • Outside Germany it is not common practice for journalists to seek authorisation for quotes before using them. If a speaker does require the participating journalists to check quotes with the speaker before publishing, we ask the speaker to advise journalists of this.

Photos, audio or video recordings

  • We respect journalists’ fundamental right not to disclose the sources of their research. Some of the participants also come from countries where press freedom is under threat and where journalists are prosecuted. As a safeguard to participants’ rights and their well-being, we kindly ask the speakers not to take any photos or to make any film or audio recordings on which participants can be individually identified without asking them beforehand.
  • If the speakers would like to take photos or record audio or video of our visit, they can approach a staff member for Clean Energy Wire so that we can agree on safe and workable solutions.
  • If there are restrictions to taking photos or to making audio or video recordings on the premises, we will inform participants.

Don't hesitate to get in contact with us at


Ecologic Institute is a transdisciplinary research organisation whose work encompasses the entire spectrum of environmental topics, including the integration of environmental issues in other political fields. The scientists at Ecologic Institute prepare political analyses and assessment reports.


What about COVID-19?

Due to a dynamic situation, we cannot predict the pandemic situation in Brussels and Europe in December. Therefore, we do not exclude the possibility of changing the format of the tour or cancel it. We will communicate all possible changes with you and promise to make everything possible to maintain your safety and health.

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