In terms of content, the priority areas for the service are primarily the political aspects of energy security and its optimisation strategy. In this respect, particular attention is being paid to the natural gas supplies of Belgium and the European Union.
The FPS Foreign Affairs monitors multilateral diplomacy in the international organisations responsible for energy either primarily (IEA, Energy Forum, Energy Charter, IRENA), or as an additional concern (UN, OSCE, NATO, IAEA (with regard to civilian consumption)). EU coordination on this issue is provided by the Directorate General European Affairs.
At national level, our FPS is involved in coordination with the relevant federal and regional bodies to determine the Belgian position and strategy (ENOVER/CONCERE consultation group).
International Energy Agency (Paris)
The IEA was created following the 1973 oil embargo as a sister organisation to the OECD in order to protect the interests of oil-consuming countries. The IEA requires its members to retain a stock of oil products equivalent to the average national consumption over 90 days for use in the event of a crisis. The organisation also carries out studies on the energy policies of its members.
Every year, the IEA publishes its World Energy Outlook to share its opinions on the development of the energy market (in particular oil and natural gas). A ministerial meeting is held every two years to define the broad outlines of the policy.
The FPS Foreign Affairs ensures that Belgium's external energy policy fits within the context of the general foreign policy. The commissions specifically responsible for IEA external relations (e.g. with the PR China, India and Russia) are monitored by the Department.
Energy Charter Treaty (Brussels)
Primarily, this treaty has set out the rules for transit and trade, on the one hand, and foreign investments in the energy sector, on the other. It also provides for dispute resolution. Its members are Eurasian. Russia's prolonged non-ratification of the treaty removes some of its relevance.
International Energy Forum (Riyadh)
The IEF is a high-level international platform for consultation and dialogue and holds a biennial ministerial meeting. The Secretariat issues the Joint Oil Data Initiative, which contains the data from the oil sector, in order to make the market more transparent.
IRENA - International Renewable Energy Agency (Abu Dhabi)
IRENA, a German initiative supported by the United Arab Emirates, was officially created in Bonn on 26 January 2009. The agency aims to promote a rapid transition to renewable energies at global level. To do this, it would like to list current knowledge on this subject, provide a strategic opinion, promote the transfer of technology and encourage greater capacity and research. Belgium joined IRENA in January 2014.
The UN "Sustainable Energy for All" (SE4ALL) initiative aims to provide universal access to energy for the populations of developing countries. Its distinguishing feature is that this energy must come from renewable sources in order to avoid an environmental divide taking over from the old industrial divide (developing countries could be tempted to become industrialised at a late stage in an environmentally unfriendly way, while industrialised countries are embarking on the transition to a carbon free society).