With the European Commission looking to complete the next steps towards a European Energy Union, GUE/NGL MEPs have renewed their opposition to those plans at the mini-plenary session in Brussels today.
Neoklis Sylikiotis, GUE/NGL Coordinator at the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), said that replacing the neoliberal austerity policies with a concrete action plan is what is desperately needed in the European Union:
“Two years on from the Commission's announcement regarding the creation of the Energy Union, the only thing that has happened is the promotion of policies that benefit multinational companies in a competitive market.”
“Nothing has been done about secure energy supplies and the energy isolation faced by a number of regions in the member states.”
“Nor have any measures to address energy poverty been provided either. As long as there are people in the EU who are not able to enjoy fair access to cheap energy, the Energy Union remains a failure,” the Cypriot MEP said whilst also stressing the need to promote renewables.
Meanwhile, GUE/NGL Coordinator on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Kateřina Konečná – who once described the Commission as ‘pompous’ in introducing this Union plan – also made stinging criticisms of the state of play:
“The Energetics Electricity Networks that we urgently need are still not under construction. There does not seem to be any plans to construct the core infrastructure. Likewise, the electricity market remains dysfunctional and the common natural gas purchases do not work either.”
“The EU energy policy seems to meet just one objective: piles of documents,” she argued as consumers struggle with rising energy costs.
“Files like the Emissions Trading System (ETS), the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) and the Land-Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) should be discussed together with the current Winter Energy Package because they are closely interconnected. However, it seems the Commission wants to deal with the governance of the Energy Union first when this should only be discussed at the end of the process,” Konečná concluded.