New European Commissioners: Energy Focus

Posted: Sep 11, 2014 by Instinctif Partners

Former Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Food and Environment Miguel Arias Cañete was appointed EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy yesterday, subject to approval by the European Parliament later this month. The new portfolio will be coordinated by former Slovenian Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek, Vice-President and Commissioner for Energy Union. Miguel Arias Cañete is a member of the Spanish People’s Party (currently holding a significant majority in the Spanish Parliament) and was head of the list in the European Parliament Elections back in May 2014. Arias Cañete has worked as a Government lawyer and law professor, as well as an MEP on the AGRI and BUDG Committees. At this stage the indicators are that the appointment of this Commissioner, given his political background, in unlikely to give rise to too much concern in industry circles.


The new appointments introduce a number of changes of relevance to energy and environment policymaking at EU level:

• Two portfolios that were separate in the outgoing Commission will be merged, namely Climate Action and Energy.

• The new Climate Action and Energy Commissioner will therefore coordinate both DG Climate Action (CLIMA), previously under Connie Hedegaard, and DG Energy (ENER), formerly under Günther Oettinger, whereas DG Environment (ENV) and DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MARE) will now fall under the supervision of Commissioner Karmenu Vella.

• The DG responsible for the implementation of F-Gases remains DG CLIMA, but now falls under Mr. Arias Cañete’s Climate Action and Energy policy portfolio.


And the new organigram outlining how this will all work: