Statement – FEDARENE’s Cooperation with UK’s Local And Regional Authorities beyond Brexit

FEDARENE’s UK members will remain an important and integral part of our network, and we are determined to continue our successful cooperation to achieve a sustainable energy transition.

The members of FEDARENE have consistently declared their clear and immovable commitment to a united and sustainable Europe. It is a pledge to share knowledge and experience to support regions and municipalities across Europe to act as role models in terms of energy transition and climate action.

This commitment remains unwavering despite UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, and our willingness to cooperate with British local and regional authorities is as firm as ever. European regions and their energy agencies on both sides of the Channel have always been frontrunners of European integration, bringing their territories closer through ambitious partnerships and projects.

FEDARENE’s UK members will remain an important and integral part of our network, and we are determined to continue our successful cooperation to achieve a sustainable energy transition.

The coronavirus crisis reminded all Europeans of the meaning of solidarity, but also of the perils of its absence. From cooperation in treating critically ill patients to the shaping of a recovery plan for Europe, the EU’s Member States are working together with the European Commission to address this collective challenge. This cooperation saves lives and accelerates our response to the emergency.

Managing this health crisis also teaches us how we should confront climate change, as both are global challenges requiring bottom-up mobilization, cross-sectorial transposition of scientific recommendations and an internationally coordinated effort based on solidarity and cohesion.

The cooperation between UK’s local and regional authorities and their counterparts across Europe has been mutually beneficial in their joint quest towards sustainability, energy efficiency and climate neutrality. The experience of our British members in areas such as energy poverty has been particularly ground-breaking and has benefitted many other regions in Europe. It is in the interest of all parties that this partnership prevails on the following principles:

  • The involvement of UK’s local and regional authorities in the negotiations on the pursuit of a productive and sustainable future cooperation between the UK and the EU.
  • Uphold the highest common standards applicable in the European Union and the UK in the areas of sustainable energy, environment and climate action.
  • The continued access of UK’s local/regional authorities and their implementing agencies to EU’s territorial cooperation programmes as well as to its energy and climate dedicated funding programmes such as LIFE and Horizon Europe.
  • The setting of a permanent and structured cooperation with the United Kingdom’s sub-national governments following the UK’s withdrawal. The European Committee of the Regions could be the frame of such an institutional mechanism that would promote regular consultation and interaction with local governments and devolved parliaments and assemblies in the UK.

In our view, the European Union is crucial for a successful and sustainable common future. All of us are called upon to build this future together, and the members of FEDARENE commit themselves to jointly contributing to this goal” (FEDARENE’s “Stand together for a United Europe” declaration, Berlin, 1st of June 2017).

FEDARENE welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the shaping of the future cooperation between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

UK energy agencies such as Severn Wye have been working in partnership with the Fedarene network of Energy Agencies from across the EU for over 20 years. This has enabled us to share our expertise, exchange knowledge and experience, share resources and learn from each other, which has benefited us all as we strive to meet our common purposes. I am grateful to the Fedarene and its members for the support they have shown us over the last few years and encouraged by the commitment to continued collaboration, regardless of the outcomes of Brexit. We look forward to future collaborative partnerships as we tackle climate change and fuel poverty and drive forward the energy transition, together.”

Simone Lowthe-Thomas, Vice-President for Citizen Energy Communities