Citizens' Dialogue on Energy Union in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Highlights of the event
The Krk LNG terminal is important for all of South-Eastern Europe and can make Croatia a gas hub for the entire region
We need Energy Union – today's energy problems cannot be solved country by country
Commission Vice-President Šefčovič used his participation in a conference of Central and Eastern European Energy Ministers to hold a Dialogue with 150 citizens from Dubrovnik and other parts of Croatia. He emphasised that the Commission worked for delivering good results and was committed to talk to citizens.
Energy security, and the impact of energy production and transport were particularly sensitive issues in a region that is characterised by spectacular nature and by tourism. Participants, among them the regional MEP, Ms Dubravka Šuica, particularly asked Minister Vrodljak about oil drilling platforms and a gas pipeline in the Adriatic Sea. Vice-President Šefčovič underlined the possibilities of more energy independence and emphasised that “drilling at sea for oil and gas needs to be carried out to the highest environmental standards.” He said that "by 2020 we will have gas from the Southern corridor and with the LNG terminal at Krk Croatia can become as gas hub for the whole of South-Eastern Europe."
The Citizens’ Dialogue participants had a clear preference for a balanced approach to renewable energies: more than two out of three (68%) felt that a combination of wind, solar, bio mass and other energies would be preferable to a concentration on only one source.
Further themes touched upon in- creasing the energy efficiency of buildings. VP Šefčovič explained that the EU imported energy for 400 billion €/year. 40% of these imports were used for heating. For this reasons investments in smart buildings paid off and he highlighted that there is a “smart financing instrument for smart buildings”.
Although the focus of the discussion was on Energy Union, participants also expressed their views on whether Croatia has benefitted from EU membership. 53% said “yes” and 47% “no”. Vice-President Šefčovič called upon the citizens to "understand Europe as our common natural space."