The IEF was honoured to receive Mrs Alexandra Sombsthay, of the European Commission's Directorate General for Energy at IEF Headquarters to deliver an IEF lecture on "The European Union's Energy Security Policy" on 14 October 2014.
DG Energy is responsible for developing and implementing a European energy policy under the political guidance of the Energy Commissioner (currently Günther H Oettinger). Mrs Sombsthay is in charge of international relations on renewable energy, which includes the design of policies and programmes to be submitted to the Energy Commissioner and the College of Commissioners, as well as the design and set up of the political agendas with each of the partner countries.
In response to recent developments in Ukraine and the overall importance of a stable and abundant supply of energy for the EU's citizens and economy, the European Commission released an EU energy security strategy on 28 May 2014. This strategy is based on an in-depth study of Member States' energy dependence. Mrs Sombsthay introduced the main elements of this new strategy (including short-term measures), while also commenting on the main political elements affecting the EU debate – including the Ukraine crisis and its impact on gas imports and the appointment of a new College of Commissioners following the June 2014 elections at the European Parliament.
Mrs Sombsthay also presented briefly on the recently adopted Communication on Energy Efficiency and outlined the impact on EU consumers and industries.