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11. 7. 2009 15:34

Vystoupení MEZ Štefana Füleho na panelu Energy Landscape in Europe: A New Platform for Cooperation, Croatia Summit

Vystoupení MEZ Štefana Füleho na panelu Energy Landscape in Europe: A New Platform for Cooperation Croatia Summit, Dubrovník, 10.7. 2009

·        Europe whole, free and prosper – that is one of the main themes we repeat today again and again. But how Europe could be whole if we have pipeline systems which divide us rather than connect us. How we could be free if we are apparently too dependant on unreliable source of energy and unreliable transit becoming a hostage of unforeseen but reappearing crisis. And finally how Europe could prosper if you make a significant part of its population to suffer of cold in winter time and respective governments to make extraordinary efforts to avoid collapse of basic services.

 

·        The EU has learnt its lessons in the energy security the hard way. Let me mention a couple of them:

 

·        FIRST - The January gas crisis made us well aware of the importance of cooperation beyond European boarders and above all the need for diversification of both energy suppliers and transport routes.

 

·        Therefore we pushed hard during our EU Presidency for the Nabucco project to hit the ground running. We organized a kick - off Southern Corridor Summit back in May that produced a political agreement between the EU and the producer’s and transit countries giving the green light for the project to move on. And it has been mentioned yesterday,  Turkey is about to sign an Intergovernmental agreement permitting the transit of gas through its territory.

 

·        During our presidency we were also successful in ensuring almost 5 billion of Euro within the European recovery plan for extending energy transit infrastructure among EU member states. At the end of the day you have to create a network of transit routes to get gas, oil or electricity to the region in need. Without such a network a basic principle of solidarity would be just a paper declaration.

 

·        SECOND - Ensuring the energy security is not limited to a search for new suppliers or transit countries. Another crucial precondition to be met is reaching a point where we would have an integrated Europe-wide energy market.

 

·        When I say Europe-wide, I mean a cooperation of the entire continent. And this is where the Balkans plays an irreplaceable role. The reasons for cooperation are straightforward – the bigger the un-congested energy market, the greater energy security level for all our countries, citizens and industries. An altogether a win – win scenario.

 

·        I am deeply convinced that the future of the Balkans clearly lies within the EU and mutual energy interconnection is another essential building block for that. We already have a good basis for our cooperation in place. I would like to praise here the mission of the EU initiated Energy Community helping to bring our energy markets closer together. Still, to move ahead we need to put words into action and give more of our attention to the practical side of things. (Early establishment of Coordinated Auction Office in Montenegro.)   

 

·        THIRD - the governments both within and outside of the EU should strive for a better cooperation with the private sector in order to create better investment environment permitting the realization of demanding longer term projects. It is a government responsibility to create a stable regulatory framework for local market integration into EU unified market.

 

·        Applying free market principles is precondition for success. However, it is not only economically but politically driven decision to strike a fine balance privatizing energy sector. By the way the whole process of diversification of energy resources has both economic and political dimensions. An appropriate burden sharing between politicians and entrepreneurs is the rule of the game.

 

·        There are other lessons to be mentioned at least shortly – we need an appropriate and balanced energy mix. We need energy efficiency criteria to be applied to all our activities. By the way we should not shy away from seeing and actually strengthening links and indeed linkages between energy security and fight against a climate change.

 

·        The energy security has a strong transatlantic dimension. There must be different and more effective framework for a structured dialogue between EU and the US. Framework in which the European Commission plays important role and which is politically steered by European Council and its member states. And last but not least – deeper and more comprehensive cooperation between international organizations, in particular between EU and NATO. Here I could give you a number of good examples but mention only one – protecting freedom of movement at sea, protecting sea lines and respective critical infrastructure.

 

·        And the time to apply all these lessons learnt is right now.  One reason is that between Russia and Ukraine there is apparently not enough cash to buy Russian gas to fill Ukrainian underground storage areas and that is compensated by strong words if not even threats. Another one is that unless we act now we will be more vulnerable at the time of coming out of economic and financial crisis.

 

·        To conclude, I would like to stress that energy security policy should not divide. The cooperation in this field reshuffles traditional dividing lines and boarders. Readjusting the energy landscape in Europe must be an inclusive process. Your countries and your region have an important role to play – as both the provider and consumer of energy security. I would like to see your region being not only a part of strengthening of energy security to avoid future crisis but also to be a part of crisis management once the crisis eventually strikes. This shall be extremely important contributions to the process of making Europe truly whole, free and prosper.

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