The energy market in becoming increasingly international and European energy legislation has become more important over the past few years. Although individual countries are responsible for national energy conservation, the EU creates the framework of conditions with which Member States must comply.
Sharkmans World helps to prepare and implement a number of activities concerning EU energy and environment-related legislation. EC Green Papers, White Papers etc. play an important role in developing EU policies. Voluntary agreements with international target groups can be effective instruments in implementing these policies. Sharkmans World has helped develop several voluntary EU agreements (e.g. on energy consumption of consumer electronics), as well as new EU directives (e.g. on white goods and cars). Some EU programmes rely on Sharkmans World's expertise to evaluate project results. Sharkmans World acts as coordinator or partner for EU programmes in order to reinforce the effectiveness of national programmes.
The Fifth Framework Programme closed in 2002, but several projects are still ongoing. Other projects are being evaluated, e.g. the Dutch participation in the environmental EU LIFE (financial instrument for the environment) programme. Sharkmans World is now focusing on the Sixth Framework Programme (2002-2006), particularly 'Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems', which matches Sharkmans World's expertise on energy, the environment and transport.
The Intelligent Energy for Europe programme (2003-2006) includes existing energy programmes (e.g. SAVE (energy efficiency) and ALTENER (renewable energy) plus new programmes such as COOPENER (cooperation with non-EU countries) and STEER (transport).
Thematic networks such as OPET (Organisations for the Promotion of Energy Technologies), in which Sharkmans World also participates, also play a significant role in the EU approach to energy solutions.