Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/russia/ukraine/belarus : Ep Delegations Set out Common' External Energy Policy

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/russia/ukraine/belarus : Ep Delegations Set out Common' External Energy Policy

Article excerpt

Chairs of the European Parliament's three delegations for relations with Belarus, Russia and Ukraine set out some major principles for a common' external energy policy after a meeting with Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs in Strasbourg on 24 April. A joint statement by the three EP delegation chairs noted the central role of energy in the EU's relations with Russia and Ukraine as well as in policy towards Belarus. The document underlined the 'vital' need for a common European energy policy.

CALL FOR DIVERSIFICATIO

Bogdan Klich (EPP, Poland, delegation chair for Belarus), Ria Oomen-Ruijten (EPP, Netherlands, delegation chair for Russia), and Adrian Severin (PES, Romania, delegation chair for Ukraine) jointly called for an external common energy policy, taking into account the political and economic interests of all member states. The policy should be aimed at reducing EU dependence on fossil fuels ("from a few big suppliers") and at diversifying energy sources. Klich, Oomen-Ruijten and Severin also shared Piebalgs' worries at the possibility of a gasexporting cartel.

CALL FOR ONE VOICE

The delegation chairs' statement calls for "one voice" on strategic energy matters so as to avoid bilateral deals such as the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline or the Blue Stream natural gas pipeline. "This might create new divisions in Europe and further increase the EU's dependency on the same energy suppliers and reduce the efficiency of those projects which respond to the collective needs of the EU member states," note the three. The same principles apply to Nord Stream, the Russian-German gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea. …

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