Energy : German Industry Minister Clarifies Presidency's Intentions

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German Economy and Technology Minister Michael Glos set out in greater detail his intentions during the German EU Presidency while speaking to MEPs from the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee on 30 January. Glos began by pointing to continuing concerns as to energy supply security, most recently evidenced by the disputes between Russia and Belarus that led to the closure of the Druzhba pipeline.

Glos expects the adoption of the energy action plan at the spring Summit in March. Elements of this plan, with the European Commission's 10 January Energy Package continuing to form a "good basis," should include Europe speaking with "one voice in external energy policy". "Why should the energy commissioner and Council president not form a negotiating team with specific mandates to work together to represent our energy interests in the world?" asked Glos. Together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he will shortly be visiting energy producing countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Other points high on Glos's agenda include the expansion of the energy community to include Norway, Turkey, Ukraine and Moldova as well as the transfer of the principles of the EU's internal market to other neighbouring countries and regions. As to the the European markets for electricity and gas, Glos underlined the need for investment in new power plants and strengthening supplier diversity in all EU regions. There should be "effective" unbundling of the network operations and it is "necessary to examine whether, and if appropriate where, legal unbundling displays deficiencies". …