Speaking yesterday (4 November) at the opening ceremony of the College of Europe’s Bruges campus, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek identified the creation of a European Energy Community as the next big vision for Europe.
“For some in the EU, energy policy is the fight against climate change, for others it is about energy security. It is both. Without energy security, and a comprehensive energy policy, we can not address climate change,” Buzek said.
“In March, the Council should accept a new plan on Europe’s energy policy which will deal with better transport and diversification of gas, both to and in the Union. But this is not ambitious enough,” the Parliament president stressed, referring to the EU’s Second Strategic Energy Review.
Buzek drew a comparison between the European situation in the aftermath of WWII and today’s necessity of relaunching Europe through a grand projet.
“In the 1950s, the European Coal and Steel Community was formed, giving joint control over coal, which was vital to the production of energy […] Today we need a new Schuman declaration, no longer because we fear war among ourselves, but because we need a new sense of solidarity in the production, purchase and consumption of energy,” he said.
According to the head of the EU assembly, the rationale of such a project lies in the creation of financial resources to create energy networks, increase interconnectivity, build gas and electric grids and augment diversification and investment in renewable sources. In such a scenario, “no member state can afford not to do it, but no state can afford to do it alone. This can only be done by sustained, European investments over the long term,” Buzek claimed.
“Energy is such an issue of national sovereignty that not all members will be willing to join at the start. But we must take a step forward and move on with those who are willing to join. It is time to consider pooling sovereignty over energy production,” he concluded.