On Tuesday, April 26th, in cooperation with ZPP and EEA, SME Connect organized a webinar “Fit for Today: how can energy policy increase the EU’s security?” to discuss how Fit for 55 can be used to increase the EU’s security. 

The webinar was hosted by Marian-jean Marinescu MEP, ENVI & TRAN Committees, and moderated by Jakub Binkowski, Board Member, Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers. The panel was comprised of Marcin Nowacki, EESC Member, Vice President of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers, and President of the European Enterprise Alliance; Horst Heitz, Chair of Steering Committee, SME Connect; Włodzimierz Ehrenhalt, ZPP Chief Expert on Energy, President of Renewable Energy Association; and Joris van Dorp, Co-Author “Switch Off Putin: Ukraine Energy Solidarity Plan”, RePlanet. 

Marian-jean Marinescu MEP opened the floor remarking how there are two parallel concerns on energy matters, security and the necessity to reduce emissions, which need to be achieved without hurting the industry in the meantime. The pressure of Fit for 55 could potentially make the transition harder. 

Similarly, Marcin Nowacki echoed the sentiment that, in light of the criminal aggression in Ukraine, the perspective of Fit for 55 needs to be changed. Energy independence and security should now be the priorities. 

Moving into the panel, Włodzimierz Ehrenhalt stressed the need for Europe to “develop a new system of raw material independence”, with renewable sources as one factor, but not the sole one. Coal too can be “a guarantor of energy stability in the energy systems”.

Joris van Dorp said that Europe’s energy policy has been flawed for the past decades. Nuclear energy must be included in upcoming plans, to transform “green energy” into “clean energy”. 

Lastly Horst Heitz  expressed similar doubts that, with the current premises, Fit for 55 can survive the next twenty years. More long-term investment, in plants, education and skills, needs to be first put in place to secure a just transition.