Thursday, September 25, 2014

Oettinger on energy security: “Gas can be used as a weapon and no longer be delivered" (EP -25.09.14)

Europe should ensure people and companies enjoy a secure supply of energy and this includes measures based on solidarity, said energy commissioner Günther Oettinger addressing the EP's energy committee on 24 September. In his last appearance as energy commissioner at the Parliament, Oettinger looked back at his tenure over the last five years and discussed future challenges regarding the EU's energy policy, including the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Committee chair Jerzy Buzek, a Polish member of the EPP group, referred to the situation in Ukraine in his welcome statement: “The crisis in Ukraine reminds us that energy security of the EU does not end at the EU borders. It is a pan-European challenge.”

  • In his opening speech, Mr Oettinger said that in the field of energy, many people think that relations with Russia are more important that relations with Ukraine, but "we have to overcome this". He added: “Gas can be used as a weapon and no longer  be delivered. This is not yet the case, but we believe that Russia will do whatever they can to undermine Ukraine.” Oettinger said: “Perhaps Ukraine could purchase gas from Russia with co-finance from the EU in order to store more gas.”

The commissioner also pleaded for more collaboration on energy. The EU already has a legal basis to work on energy issues, but "we now have 28 fragmented systems", he said. Several MEPs shared his view that more should be done to combat this fragmentation and to link the energy sectors of countries within the EU.


Martina Werner, a German member of the S&D group, said: “He has partly applied climate goals, but not fully. I’m especially critical of the directive on energy efficiency. We, the Socialists and Democrats, had hoped for much more.”

Dawid Bohdan Jackiewicz, a Polish member of the ECR group, asked whether new energy efficiency targets would hurt member states’ competitiveness and wondered how they would affect energy prices.


1 comment:

  1. Russia wants to resolve the gas pricing dispute with Ukraine and has made a number of constructive proposals to tackle the problem which have been rejected in Kiev, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in newspaper comments on Friday....

    Asked whether there were chances for a compromise, Novak told Germany's largest business and finance daily, Handelsblatt: “We are interested in it anyway.”

    The minister said the parties already had eight rounds of talks on the dispute and Russia made some constructive proposals for pricing and the settlement of Ukraine’s debts.

    “But Ukraine rejected them all,” Novak was quoted as saying.
    Russia-Ukraine-EU gas talks

    Russia, Ukraine and the European Union are scheduled to hold a trilateral gas meeting in Berlin on September 26.....................


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