International energy engagement

In “A Stronger Europe in the World”

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In its 2022 Work Programme, the European Commission announced that it would adopt an EU strategy on international energy engagement in the first quarter of 2022. The strategy would set how the EU intends to pursue the global energy transition away from fossil fuel use towards green energy solutions, promote security of supply, encourage the development of clean and sustainable energy technologies, and foster greater energy efficiency and open markets.

On 18 May 2022, the Commission adopted a Joint Communication on External Energy Engagement, together with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Affairs. The Joint Communication was formulated in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the consequent impact of this war on Europe's energy security. Reducing energy dependence on Russia has become a major EU priority. More generally, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has also highlighted the importance for Europe of reducing its overall imports of fossil fuels (as well as dependence on foreign materials and technologies), accelerating its promotion of renewable energy sources, and curbing its energy consumption.

The Joint Communication sets out a series of EU priorities in its energy relations with third countries and in international fora. These priorities are to diversify the EU's gas supply away from Russia, prepare the EU for renewable hydrogen trade, reduce dependency on Russian imports other than gas, prioritise energy savings and efficiency, support partners impacted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, repower Ukraine's energy system and that of its neighbourhood, lead and accelerate the global green energy transition, cooperate on research and technology, ensure access to critical raw materials, and lay the foundations of a new global energy system. Each of these priorities is supported by a series of key actions.  

European Commission, REPowerEU: A plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition, Press Release, 18 May 2022.

European Commission and High Representative for the Union on Foreign and Security Affairs, Joint Communication on External Energy Engagement, JOIN(2022) 23 final, 18 May 2022. 

Author: Alex Wilson, Members' Research Service,

As of 20/11/2022.