EU needs strong safeguards to maintain energy security
Energy cooperation must be at the heart of the EU, just as it was when the Union was created more than 60 years ago, argues Theresa Griffin.
This February, the European Commission presented a review of the 2010 Security of Gas Supply regulation on which I will be acting as shadow rapporteur for the European Parliament's Socialists and Democrats group.
From when we wake up in the morning, turn on the lights, have breakfast, switch on the heating or air-conditioning, go to work and come back home; energy is one of the fundamental things we take for granted and something we could never imagine disappearing. However, the EU currently imports 65 per cent of its gas from Russia, Norway and Algeria at a cost of €400bn each year.
The high dependence on external resources, such as Russia, illustrates the need to implement strong EU safeguards to maintain our energy security. It further highlights the necessity to diversify our energy mix and put a strong emphasis on energy efficiency and building renovation.
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Through the 2010 Security of Gas Supply regulation, all EU member states have preventive action plans and emergency plans to deal with crises. However, these plans are still insufficient as national policies fail to account for supply security in neighbouring countries as well as potential external risks.
These are the issues that the new regulation seeks to address.
Energy cooperation was at the heart of the creation of the European Union when in 1951, the Paris treaty created the European Coal and Steel Community.
Today, more than ever, we need to continue our belief in strong cooperation and solidarity to make us collectively more energy secure, bring energy bills down and tackle climate change. Access to energy is social right; we have to protect our environment and our most vulnerable citizens.
Free trade and open markets are important, but they are only free and open when everyone plays by the rules, argues Gerd Götz.
New-build and ageing soviet-era nuclear plants on EU's eastern borders pose a serious threat to Europe's security, warns Eli Hadzhieva.
Quick and efficient climate change gains are only achievable with gas, argues Beate Raabe.