When EU leaders meet next week to discuss plans for an Energy Union they must approach security of supply with citizens' needs in mind – and not those of corporations.

That's the message GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer delivered to the Commission and Council this morning in a debate on next week's European Council meeting.

Zimmer said: “I get the impression that the Council and Commission have not really addressed the basic issues behind the Energy Union: access to energy supplies and the fact that people should be centre stage. Security of supply and stability should not be addressed from the point of view of corporations but from that of human beings. While the Council says it wants the EU to be both number one when it comes to renewables and less import-dependent, what it puts forward does not go in this direction. We are not moving towards change.”

Speaking about the link between Energy Union and the ongoing negotiations for an EU-US trade deal (TTIP), MEP Zimmer added: “Fracking is the issue that connects TTIP and the Energy Union. Fracking is one of the topics that will serve as a basis for discussions and that is why you want to accelerate TTIP. As far as we are concerned, fracking is not appropriate and will lead to even more climate change. We want something different.”

GUE/NGL Vice-President Neoklis Sylikiotis reiterated that energy is a basic common good and that it should not be something that allows multinationals to make soaring profits.

He said: “The Energy Union package must address energy poverty first and foremost. It should allow equal access to all and establish an energy infrastructure that will support the people. We need to look at energy agreements between the EU and third countries. We need to adopt specific measures so that certain member states can solve their energy supply problems. We need an Energy Union that will be supported by an end to austerity policies.”

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