In substantive terms, the main priorities for the Energy Service are the political aspects of energy supply security and the strategy to optimise this. In this context, we especially focus on the supply of natural gas to Belgium and the EU.
The M4 service (DGM) monitors multilateral diplomacy in international organisations responsible for energy either primarily (A.I.E, Energy Forum, Energy Charter, IRENA), or as an additional concern (UN, OSCE, NATO, A.I.E.A. (for civil consumption)). EU coordination on this issue is the responsibility of the E3 service (DGE).
At national level, these two services are 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 International Energy Agency (IEA) was established as a sister organisation of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) after the oil boycott in 1973 so as to protect the interests of petroleum-consumer countries. IEA obliges its members to build up a stock of 90 days’ petroleum product imports equivalent to the average national consumption over 90 days for use in the event of a crisis. The organisation also carries out studies examining its members’ energy policy.
Each year, IEA publishes World Energy Outlook in which it sets out its views on the development of the energy market, and in particular petroleum and natural gas. Every two years, a ministerial meeting is held where the broad thrust of energy policy is defined.
FPS Foreign Affairs ensures that Belgium’s external energy policy is in keeping with the country’s general foreign policy. Accordingly, the ministry monitors the committees responsible for IEA external relations (e.g. with the People’s Republic of China, India and Russia).
Energy Charter Treaty (Brussels)
The treaty focuses on laying down the rules which govern transit and trading and foreign investments in the energy sector. It also sets out a system to settle disputes. The members of the Energy Charter Conference come from Europe and Asia. Russia's prolonged non-ratification of the treaty affects its relevance.
International Energy Forum (Riyadh)
The International Energy Forum is an international forum for high-level discussion and dialogue. This takes the form of a biennial ministerial meeting. The Secretariat publishes the Joint Oil Data Initiative giving petroleum sector data and so contributing to increased market transparency.
International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) (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.
United Nations institutions
The UN "Sustainable Energy for All" (SE4ALL) initiative is monitored by M4.