European Ombudsman announces inquiry into EU Energy Platform Advisory Group
Brussels, 9 November 2023 - Following a complaint from Corporate Europe Observatory and Food and Water Action Europe, the European Ombudsman has announced an inquiry into the European Commission's creation of the EU Energy Platform Advisory Group during the energy crisis response.
The inquiry will investigate how the Commission decided on the composition of the Industry Advisory Group and explore the choice to restrict group membership to companies - which is at odds with Commission rules on balanced representation in expert groups.
Launched in April 2022, the EU Energy Platform advised on many important energy crisis measures, including long-term oil and gas contracts and RepowerEU. By granting the fossil fuel lobby a strong influence over Europe’s energy policies after the invasion of Ukraine, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) believes the EU prolonged its dependency on fossil fuels at the expense of millions facing a growing cost of living crisis.
CEO raised concerns about the Industry Advisory Group’s formation in October 2022 due to the unduly influential position it gave fossil fuel company members to steer Europe’s energy crisis response.
Martha Myers, Climate researcher and campaigner, Corporate Europe Observatory, welcomes the inquiry:
“It is excellent news that the European Ombudsman will investigate the creation of this fossil-fueled advisory group.
At a time when the European Commission should have been holding oil and gas companies accountable for fueling and profiteering from the energy crisis, instead, this ‘expert’ group put them in the driving seat to lead the EU’s response.
This represents a conflict of interest on a colossal scale. This group must be scrapped if we are to break Europe’s fossil fuel addiction, address energy poverty and limit further climate chaos.”
In early 2024, fossil fuels’ influence will be investigated further during a European Parliamentary public hearing coordinated by the petitions committee at the request of the Fossil Free Politics coalition.
For further information contact:
Martha Myers, Climate researcher and campaigner, Corporate Europe Observatory
firstname.lastname@example.org; Signal: +310633845623
Notes to editor:
- Oct 22 CEO research: over 200 meetings between top European Commission officials and fossil fuel companies in the year following the Ukrainian invasion.
- Oct 23 new CEO research: Fossil fuel companies actively weakened social and environmental measures, such as windfall taxes, at EU and national level during the energy crisis response.
- More information on the EU Industry Advisory Group in CEO report here