Research Tour: How is the EU balancing climate action and the energy crisis?
Have reduced fossil energy supplies from Russia derailed or assisted EU climate policy? As European Union member states find ways to secure alternative energy supplies, how are the EU’s responses to the climate and energy crisis being balanced? Countries like Germany saw Russian fossil gas as a bridge fuel for the energy transition, but with this key part of the puzzle largely gone, many member states have to find new ways to meet energy demand while working towards a greener future.
Decisions at the EU level on energy and climate policy determine what can and must happen at the country level. At the same time, national interests can influence decisions on a EU level, with consequences across the continent. What happens in Brussels is of key importance for national policy, and understanding the politics and the actors is crucial for the debates and their impact on domestic issues.
Developing renewables is now seen as key to ensuring energy supply security, as well as reaching climate targets. The move to a climate-neutral, fossil-fuel-free energy system can mitigate import dependence in the longer term, while improving energy efficiency. Moving to domestic renewable energy sources and new fuels – such as hydrogen or synthetic fuels – are important steps for climate action and, if done right, will also entail a diversification of supplier countries. At the same time, EU actions have faced criticism. Many politicians, NGOs, researchers and even finance experts have questioned e.g. the decision to label nuclear and fossil gas projects as sustainable in the EU's taxonomy.
These plans require support from the EU and its member states. The Brussels Research Tour aims to offer insights into EU policy to tackle the energy crisis and its implications on the bloc’s move to climate neutrality. In meetings with experts, policymakers, business and NGO representatives, the tour will provide essential background on EU climate and energy policymaking and cover topics of relevance to national policies. The participants will get first-hand insights into the decision-making process in Brussels, the roles of the European Commission and the European Parliament, as well as the ways business associations and civil society represent their interests. Key processes under the European Green Deal and their expected impact on member states will also be highlighted, and the tour will offer an excellent opportunity for networking and contact building.
Frequently asked questions on how to apply, costs and logistics
The research tour is open for journalists from all over Europe (country of primary residence).
To apply, please click on the red 'Apply Here' button above that will take you to the webform.
Please note that applications in any other language than English will not be accepted.
By submitting your application, you agree that your name, associated media outlet, country of primary residence and email address will appear on the list shared with all participants if your application is successful. All data that is necessary to organize the tour will be shared with our partner Ecologic Institute.
All presentations during the workshop will be in English, or otherwise live translated into English.
Participation in the research tour is free of charge. Furthermore, all expenses incurred during the tour, including food, accommodation and local transportion during the tour will be covered by the Clean Energy Wire.
Selected participants will organise their own travel to Brussels and back independently, and will be reimbursed for their expenses after the event. Do not book anything before you get the confirmation that you can take part. When arranging their travel, participants are kindly asked to consider climate friendly modes of transportation where viable and reasonable. Please keep in mind the budgetary constraints of up to 400 euro return connection for economy class travel. Participants who would like to cover their expenses on their own (travel, food, accomodation) can get an invoice on request after the tour.
The tour will start on 5 December at 6.30 p.m. and will end on 7 December around 5 p.m.
All successful applicants will be notified on how to claim reimbursement ahead of the tour. It is generally not possible to reimburse the travel expenses in cash.
Application deadline for applications is 6 November 2022.
Please make sure to have access to your email, and do check the spam folder. If your application has been sucessful you will receive a confirmation email from CLEW not later than 9 November. In that event please confirm your participation until 12 pm CET+1 time on 13 November. Otherwise your place will be offered to another applicant.
If you require a letter of invitation for your visa application, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure you have a visa appointment at the embassy or consulate well before the research tour to leave enough time for processing your visa.
Note that we do not reimburse visa fees or insurance costs.
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Please check your spam folder for an automatically generated email, which asks you to confirm that you indeed submitted an application.
You will then hear from CLEW regarding the outcome of your application no later than 9 November 2022.
Interviews and public debate between journalists and speakers follow different rules and practices in different parts of the world. To make the context of our media trip clear for all involved, we would like to set out the following framework guiding the interaction with participating journalists:
Quotes and interviews
- We work on the basis that statements made by participants can be quoted by the journalists present in their media reports. As a rule, conversations are “on the record”.
- If speakers do not want to be quoted, we ask them to inform the participating journalists where this is the case. Remarks may then be made "off the record" and will not be quoted.
- Outside Germany it is not common practice for journalists to seek authorisation for quotes before using them. If a speaker does require the participating journalists to check quotes with the speaker before publishing, we ask the speaker to advise journalists of this.
Photos, audio or video recordings
- We respect journalists’ fundamental right not to disclose the sources of their research. Some of the participants also come from countries where press freedom is under threat and where journalists are prosecuted. As a safeguard to participants’ rights and their well-being, we kindly ask the speakers not to take any photos or to make any film or audio recordings on which participants can be individually identified.
- If the speakers would like to take photos or make audio or video recordings of our visit, they approach a staff member for Clean Energy Wire so that we can agree on safe and workable solutions.
- If there are restrictions to taking photos or to making audio or video recordings on the premises, we will inform participants.
Ecologic Institute is a transdisciplinary research organisation whose work encompasses the entire spectrum of environmental topics, including the integration of environmental issues in other political fields. The scientists at Ecologic Institute prepare political analyses and assessment reports.
Due to a dynamic situation, we cannot predict the pandemic situation in Brussels and Europe in December. Therefore, we do not exclude the possibility of changing the format of the tour or cancel it. We will communicate all possible changes with you and promise to make everything possible to maintain your safety and health.