TTIP Position Paper

What is TTIP ?

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a commercial partnership agreement, currently (since 2013) being negotiated between the European Union and the United States.

It aims to remove trade barriers existing today in many sectors of activity, in order to facilitate trade in goods and services between the United States and the EU and thus generate additional trade flows in both directions.

Beyond tariffs, it seeks to bring down all other barriers for exporters from norms, standards and procedures for approvals.

TTIP negotiations also aim to open markets in services, investments and public procurement.

This agreement, in view of the volume of trade between the United States and the European Union, will likely redefine the framework of global trade.

FECER 12 proposals on European Commission Clean Energy Package

General vision on Energy Union

For us, to succeed in the refounding of the European project, we must rethink the current «Europe’s software», and keep-up favoring the balance of economic and social performance factors and long-term investments.
This applies in particular in the field of energy, which is at the heart of the daily lives of citizens and the European economy.
Reducing the carbon intensity of the economy ought to be the heart of the Clean Energy Package.
As energy policy must be helpful to European industry and driven by high quality job creation, the «energy only and short-term market» can’t be an objective in itself !

Read more

Electricité : quelle vision, quel leadership ?

MIS EN LIGNE LE 16/10/2018 À 06:00


Le « père » de la dérégulation du marché de l’énergie dans les années nonante énonce les contradictions de la politique actuelle en la matière

Le gouvernement n’est pas une solution à notre problème. Le gouvernement est le problème.  » Avérée ou non, la maxime prêtée à Ronald Reagan, quarantième Président des Etats-Unis, pourrait sans doute illustrer l’hallucinant imbroglio dans lequel se trouve aujourd’hui la politique énergétique de notre pays. Read more

Ecomagination Challenge Hackathon in Berlin, June 12-13 2017

Driving decarbonization is a tremendous challenge. But in this GE Ecomagination hackathon, you’ll use powerful tools and develop new solutions using the GE Predix platform, Cloud Foundry, and the Industrial Internet of Things. Help solve some of the toughest problems in energy management and manufacturing :

Hack1 :

Grid Optimization for Decarbonization
Build digital tools to modernize the European electrical grid, reduce carbon emissions, and drive economic value.

Hack2 :

Advanced Manufacturing for Aerospace
Create agile, optimized manufacturing solutions that reduce the weight of aircraft components for more energy-efficient operation and decarbonized flight with data provided by aerospace manufacturer Stelia Aerospace.

Stretch your skills and creative thinking. Bridge real and virtual worlds. Discover the amazing capabilities of the GE Predix platform. And compete for €50,000 in prizes.

For more information, view our common press release HERE

When registering, select “Hackathon” as the registration type. Register as a team of up to five people (“I have a team”) or as an individual—and we’ll place you on a team.

European project « Reinventing industrial relations in Europe with and for Youth : A research applied to energy transition « 

In July 2015, FECER and CEC signed a letter of support to CFE-CGC Energies, combined with a master network engineering, engaged in their European project « Reinventing industrial relations in Europe with and for Youth : A research applied to energy transition « , developed as part of a call for proposals from the European Commission.

The project aims to raise awareness and increase interest in the issues of social dialogue for students of European universities.

European Commission proposal to phase out subsidised coal production by 2014 needs to be amended immediately – time window is narrowing

On the occasion of its meeting on July 20th 2010, the European Commission adopted a legis- lative proposal to replace the existing Council regulation 1407/2002 (the „Coal regulation”) which is due to expire on December 31st 2010.

By agreeing to these essential features

  • closure aid („digressive operational aid” facilitating the closure process) shall be granted to only those mines for which a definitive closure plan exists that comes into effect not later than October 1st 2014
  • obligation to recover any aid granted if mines are not closed after the date fixed in the closure plan

the Commission has grossly disregarded the outcome of the related Impact Assessment carried out by its services. Instead, it followed a series of ill-placed arguments which demands the phasing–out of state aid after a limited period for reasons of principle. By doing so, the Commission deliberately put at risk the jobs of tens of thousands in the European coal sector and related industries. Consequently, in its press release issued August 9th 2010, FECER has highlighted that invaluable social and environmental objectives have been sacrificed for allegedly overriding reasons including competition and climate protection. No doubt, such a decision has all the ingredients to foster resentments vis-à-vis the European integration or at best voter fatigue, as shown during last year’s election of the European Parliament.

Having carefully reviewed the exchange of arguments between the political stakeholders across Europe on the above Commission proposal, FECER members call upon all European Union institutions engaged in finalising the revision of the „Coal regulation” – in particular Commission, Parliament and Council – to take into account the following:

  • for social and environmental reasons, the principal conclusion in the Impact As- sessment was a gradual phasing out of operating aid over a period of up to ten years, i. e. by the year 2020
  • state aid to the coal industry as covered by the Commission proposal 2010/372 does not constitute an “inefficient fossil fuel subsidy” to be abolished in pursuit of the conclusions of the G20 round, as the carbon footprint of coal utilisation will change to a negligible extent only since imported coal will replace local production

However, if the European Union should place principles of regulatory policy above all other political objectives, this would have major consequences within its own realm, e. g. phasing- out of payments to the agricultural sector within a comparable period of time.

In conclusion, FECER is confident, that the EU institutions dealing with the revision of the „Coal regulation” in the weeks to come will be prudent enough to apply the principles of the Europe 2020 strategy in a careful and responsible manner which puts the objectives of job creation and preservation, respectively, on the top of the EU’s strategic agenda during the next decade.

Brussels, October 25th 2010

European Commission proposal to phase out subsidised coal production by 2014 contradicts employment goals set out in EU2020 strategy

Recently, the European Commission approved a proposal for a Council regulation which requires subsidised coal production across Europe to be phased out by October 1st 2014. As a consequence, tens of thousands of jobs in mining regions which are already severely hit by the global economic crisis are now at risk. In particular, the Ruhr and Saar districts in Germany, Spain’s Asturias, Castilla and León provinces as well as the Xiu valley in Romania would be effected most drastically, but also some regions in Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. FECER’s president François Perniola is deeply concerned, “Despite the conclusions drawn by Commission services from last year’s stakeholder consultation that the industry needs at least ten years to wind down its uncompetitive operations for social and environmental reasons, including adjustment of regional employment structures, the College of Commissioners agreed to allow a life span of less than four years. Moreover, this decision is in stark contrast to the objectives of the EU’s overall strategy until 2020 which puts improvements in employment levels all over Europe as its highest priority.”

FECER thus calls upon the Commission to critically review its recent proposal on a coal regulation beyond 2010 in the light of its strategic objectives, particularly those set forth in the EU2020 strategy. Further, the governments of coal producing Member States are urged to form a coalition and lead the Council to adopt a revised coal regulation that must come into

force as of January 1st 2011. This regulation should enable the industry to phase out its noncompetitive operations in a socially and environmentally acceptable way by allowing for the adjustment of regional employment structures and the creation of alternative employment opportunities over a manageable period of time.

Brussels, August 9th 2010



FECER Steering Committee (September 25th, in Madrid) – Programme :

– Opening
– Welcoming new members
– European project “Reinventing industrial relations with and for the youth – Applied research in the energy transition”
– FECER debate event in Brussels – European Energy Union/ Energy transition
– COP 21: Climate negotiations in Paris, December 2015
– Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership, TTIP: blessing or threat?
– Review of statutes
– Financial situation
– Miscellaneous


FECER General Assembly (October 16th, in Great-Britain – Newcastle)


FECER Steering Committee (May 28th, in Germany – Cologne)


FECER Steering Committee (November 21st, in France – Paris)

CEC Conference (May 24-25th, in Germany – Berlin)

CEC General Assembly (May 23rd, in Germany – Berlin)

FECER Steering Committee (March 08th, in Norway – Bergen)


CEC Steering Committee (November 28th, in Belgium – Brussels)

FECER Steering Committee (October 27th, in Belgium – Brussels)


FECER Steering Committee (October 13th, in France – Paris)

FECER General Assembly (06/17th, in Italy – Verona)


cf FECER Activity Report

Clean Coal For Europe

Coal is Europe’s most abundant indigenous energy source. In order to meet the challenges of climate change and security of supply, Europe has to make full use of its potential.

Energy policy is high on the European agenda. Security of supply, competitiveness and environmental sustainability should all be pursued in a balanced way. Climate change, price volatility and import dependency are the basis for numerous considerations for the future of Europe’s energy sector. A more rational, i.e. more efficient, use of energy is a major concern in this debate. In addition, the pressure to achieve extremely ambitious targets for the utilization of renewable energy sources bears the risk of pushing coal out of the EU’s energy mix.

In the view of FECER – The European Federation of Executives in the Sectors of Energy and related Research – such a move would deprive Europe ultimately of one of its cheapest energy sources and with that undermine the Community’s desire for a secure and sustainable European energy supply. This is particularly true if one looks at potential alternative options. A dash for gas would increase the import dependency and so reduce security. The support of renewable energy sources in some cases is not cost effective, and often electricity based on renewable energy sources is not available when needed. On top of all this, some European member states are involved in a controversial debate regarding on the future of nuclear energy.

Against this background FECER would like to share its view on the future of coal within the European energy mix and at the same time reconfirm its support for the EU’s initiative to establish an energy policy for Europe.

  1. Security of supply at affordable cost

As part of a balanced energy supply for the generation of electricity, coal plays a particularly important role due to its secure availability and competitive strength.

The availability of coal in the EU guarantees a substantial contribution to supply of electricity through the existing power station portfolio in the medium term. A significant part of this capacity will be supplied by domestically sourced coal. The use of coal effectively limits risks linked to price, supply, transport and even terrorism. Coal production and consumption in Europe are significant. Almost 60 % of the EU’s consumption is supplied by indigenous sources of both hard coal and lignite. The EU has an efficient infrastructure of ports, waterways and railways at its disposal. It is cheap and safe to transport and stock coal. Power can therefore be generated close to consumers. Leaks and network risks are thus avoided, providing stability to the electricity supply system.

Not only does coal make a major contribution to supply, it also defines a price benchmark for the power sector. This benchmark is an important macro-economic element as intensive competition between fuels for power generation makes a significant contribution to a functioning EU internal market for electricity. In addition, coal extraction and utilization as well as energy intensive production result in the creation of local prosperity. This is significant for many regions. Delocalisation of high value production to regions with lower environmental standards might be advantageous for producers with a short term economic outlook, but is detrimental from an economic and environmental perspective at EU level. Furthermore, European high tech from the coal chain is a valuable export sector. Coal mining and coal-based electricity generation therefore have additional industrial policy implications.

  1. The unique role of coal for power generation in the enlarged Europe

Electricity supply in EU-25 is mainly based on nuclear (32 %), coal (30 %), hydro (15 %) and gas (17 %), although these averages hide significant differences between individual member states. Coal plays an important role in many EU member states. All estimates assume that the demand for electricity will increase in the EU. It is difficult to say today whether electricity consumption will increase by 30 % or 50 % in the next 25 years. Even with the EU’s energy efficiency targets, it must, however, be noted that Europe currently consumes a lot of electricity and will need even more in the future.

A power gap is developing in Europe because of increasing demand and the need to close ageing power plants. The EU’s growth targets for renewable energy sources are extremely ambitious; 20% of energy consumption from renewable sources (covering electricity, heating & cooling and biofuels) by 2020, which may mean that as much as 35 % of the electricity generation will be based on renewable energy sources, according to Eurelectric. This still leaves a substantial gap to be filled by conventional fuels, including gas, which emits less CO2 than coal.

The EU’s energy policy for Europe presents a vision of a low carbon economy in its targets for Green House Gas (GHG) emissions reductions of 20% by 2020 and of 30% with appropriate world-wide support. It has put in place a market-based mechanism, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), to drive forward such reductions by placing a cost on creating CO2 emissions. Its review of EU ETS needs to establish a long-term scheme to create stability of the pricing mechanism for carbon. This will be needed to ensure the financial viability of future plant using clean coal technologies.

  1. Clean Coal Technologies

FECER supports the European Commission in its efforts to develop clean fossil fuel power technologies. Carbon capture and sequestration (or storage) (CCS), applied to an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant, will provide a high degree of flexibility by having the potential to produce CO2-free electricity and environmentally friendly motor fuels, hydrogen and synthetic gases. Resorting to clean coal technologies is vital for the acceptance of coal. However, available technologies for CCS and flue gas cleaning require development and implementation of Community laws and regulations.

A key element of the strategy to reduce carbon emissions is the modernisation of existing power plants to improve efficiency. The construction of highly efficient new coal power plants is appropriate where replacement is needed or to cover increased demand for electricity. Reduced use of scarce resources and fewer emissions of pollutants can be achieved within the framework of a general market-based modernisation strategy with a long-term EU ETS.

The capture and storage of carbon dioxide has remarkable potential. In European and international research programmes, the development of technologies to capture and store carbon dioxide are ready for implementation and are economically achievable by the year 2020. Such wide ranging efforts would create sufficient security able to deal with the need for further reductions of CO2 emissions without questioning the reliability of fossil fuels. A technical option therefore exists in the electricity sector, in addition to nuclear and renewable energy sources, for the use of gas and coal in the long-term with dramatically reduced CO2 emissions.

A further option to be used is the co-firing of coal stations with biomass of up to 10 %.

Such technological advances should also reduce CO2 emissions globally, if they are applied to new plants in countries such as China and India where electricity growth will continue to be based on their indigenous supplies of coal.

  1. Conclusions

At a time when energy is at the top of the EU agenda, it is important that Europe exploits the full potential of its most abundant indigenous energy source, coal, which already has a major role in member states’ economies and in electricity generation. However, to become part of the EU’s low carbon economy it is essential that the industry embraces and the EU provides the support for the development of new technologies to reduce CO2 emissions and for carbon capture and storage from coal-fired generation.

The recent decision by the EU to have up to 12 power stations with carbon capture and storage is a step in the right direction.

7 June 2007