Europe in the World

Climate and Energy Platform

European energy policy - Towards greater solidarity

12 September 2013

Energy policy is not just linked to the EU’s competitiveness but also to its relations with third countries, especially given the large extent to which most member states rely on imports from outside the bloc, said President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė.

Denmark and the Netherlands are the only EU countries that are exporting rather than importing gas, the president warned, adding that 14 of 28 member states rely 100% on imported gas supplies. Therefore politics comes into play as well as economics and competitiveness, the president said.

Grybauskaitė identified three challenges facing the European energy sector that the EU must address if it is to deliver affordable energy to the economy and if it wants to keep promises to ensure economic growth and jobs:

  • First, the security of its energy supplies;
  • Second, the continuing failure to complete its internal energy market, and;
  • Third, a balanced climate policy.

She argued that all three of these challenges require responses at European level and that they all have a direct bearing on the competitiveness of the European economy.

Grybauskaitė called on Europe to take “a decisive step forward towards greater solidarity in the energy field” as foreseen in the Lisbon Treaty. To lend credibility to this goal, the EU must deliver on its commitment to completing the internal energy market before the end of 2014, she argued, as well as on the imperative to restore growth and jobs to the economy by tackling high energy prices.

She stressed her belief that energy can help drive a vision of a better European future, based on solidarity with the EU and with external partners.

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