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European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

How prepared is the EU to tackle the energy crisis?

"The energy policy field is central to our society, central to people having heating and electricity, which are necessary parts of life. But it is also essential to our economies, fairness, competitiveness and essential for our fight against climate change" - Ditte Juul Jørgensen

26 January 2023 | Video

On 1 December 2022, Ditte Juul Jørgensen (Director General for Energy of the European Commission) sat down with us for the first episode of 'The W Factor', a news interview series launched within the framework of the Lights on Women initiative of the Florence School of Regulation (FSR).

In the interview, Jørgensen discusses the impact of the war in Ukraine on Europe’s energy supply, the EU’s preparedness for the cold season, and the ways solidarity between Member States can help mitigate the effects of the crisis.

The interview, driven by Ilaria Conti (Head of Gas, FSR), covered also the role of women in the ever-evolving energy sector and the wealth of opportunities that might arise for them in this transition phase. Jørgensen also reflected on the unique traits of female leadership and on the commitment of EU institutions to placing more women in positions of power.

In this regard, Director-General Jørgensen observed that obstacles and bottlenecks to women entering the energy sector still need to be identified in order to remove them. Since some sectors are traditionally male-dominated, and this links back to deep societal and historical issues, they often come across as invisible, or taken for granted. Therefore, the first step is to make these invisible biases and factors visible. Another element of discrimination that was pointed out was the self-perpetuating dynamic: "It becomes quite challenging to be the first woman in a workplace, and it is very brave to be the first woman. That is why we need women as role models, we need women to encourage each other and to help each other."

'The W Factor' and 'Lights on Women'

The W factor is a new series, exploring the current state of energy and climate affairs, and the added value that female leaders are bringing to the table.

Lights on Women (LoW) is an initiative of the Florence School of Regulation, at the Robert Schuman Centre that includes a database for women in energy, climate and sustainability: The Energybase.

Last update: 08 March 2023

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