The European shale gas debate is out of balance, making it increasingly difficult to conduct an across-the-board, fact-based assessment of the pros and cons of tapping into unconventional hydrocarbon deposits. EU Member States are divided in their approaches to the issue. Their attitudes range from an almost unchecked enthusiasm to deep wariness towards the shale gas industry. In addition, the European public has recently shown it is locked between the demands for more information about the specifics of shale gas development, and a static, often outdated image of the industry. EU institutions to date have largely either aggravated this polarisation or have failed to introduce solutions that would make the debate less toxic. However, as the authors of the paper argue, the European Commission could become a lynchpin in making the most of the ongoing efforts of the EU Member States and creating robust lines of communication with industry stakeholders.