From TIMESONLINE: Here’s an excerpt:
ALARMED by a surge in energy costs and the threat of an acute gas shortage, the European Commission has made an attempt to seize control of energy policy from national governments.
The move follows a decision by Britain to yield control over energy policy to Brussels when output of North Sea oil and gas has gone into sharp decline, contributing to a big increase in domestic heating bills.
The common energy policy, announced yesterday, marks a dramatic step in the integration of Europe on a key strategic issue, akin to the creation of the Common Agriculture Policy and the single trade policy, transferring considerable powers from national capitals to Brussels.
José Manuel Barroso, the President of the Commission, said: “We are proposing a common strategy for energy. We are in a new energy century. Demand is rising. Europe’s reserves are declining. There is underinvestment and our climate is changing.
“We must have an approach to match this new reality – the EU can no longer afford 25 different and uncoordinated energy policies.”
Brussels proposes the creation of a single European electricity grid, new gas and oil pipelines into the heart of the EU from North Africa, the Middle East and the Caspian region and the setting up of emergency gas stocks to be shared by members in the event of a disruption in supplies.
There would be a European energy regulator and an EU energy observatory to advise of any problems ahead. However, it would be left to governments to decide whether or not to build nuclear power stations or invest in renewable energy such as wind farms.
Brussels would also take over energy negotiations with third parties such as Russia, Europe’s main energy supplier, arguing that EU members will get a better deal if they combine forces rather than negotiate on their own. Senhor Barroso will hold talks with President Putin of Russia about energy issues next week. Mr Putin has been invited to address EU leaders about energy at a summit in a fortnight.
These last paragraphs are very important. The EU is intending to build unique European market, but instead of investing in the development of new sources of energie that could Europe to be independent from foreign regions is going to put ALL the market into the hands of countries that have no democratic traditions or are refuges of Islamist terrorists. They are just going to leave the governments the possibility (wow!) of investing in that issues. That is NOT sufficient, I’m afraid. The situation is so important there should be a common policy in investment or the strategic situation is going to be worse and worse everyday.
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