At today’s meeting in Moscow with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Vice-President of the EU Commission Günther H. Oettinger reiterated his proposal to have an interim solution including an interim price.
Both agreed that a solution should contain the following four elements:
- the interim price
- the fulfilment of all supply and transit obligations
- a repayment plan for the unpaid bills to be developed by the next few weeks
- the use of OPAL pipeline
At the press conference following the bilateral meeting, Vice-President Oettinger said:
- “We have to agree on an interim gas price for the next few months, while waiting for the Stockholm arbitration court to decide on the final price. In addition: Ukraine has to pay an account for the gas to be delivered in the months to come."
- “Our main goal is to secure gas supply to the EU and its citizens, but also to the citizens in Russia, Ukraine, the Western Balkans, including accession countries and Moldova.”
Speaking about the worsening situation at the Eastern border of the Ukraine, Vice-President Oettinger expressed his concern:
- "I came to Moscow to prepare the next trilateral gas talks as agreed in Minsk. At the same time, I have to express my concern. The news that Russian soldiers are operating inside Ukraine does not reflect the spirit of Minsk. Respecting the sovereignty of national borders is vital to preserve peace."
The European Commission has released today the "Communication on Energy Efficiency and its contribution to energy security and the 2030 Framework for climate and energy policy". The Communication is a strategy that proposes mid and long-term objectives for the EU's energy efficiency policy and explains how these objectives can be achieved. It assesses progress towards the EU's 20% energy efficiency target for 2020 and proposes a new 30% target for 2030. This new target will drive Europe towards increased competitiveness, sustainability, and security of supply. More specifically, it will generate new jobs, provide opportunities for European businesses such as construction firms, and reduce our natural gas imports by 30%.
The EU is well positioned to reach its new target for 2030, being on track for the 2020 target. The Communication indicates that the EU will achieve the 2020 target provided that the existing legislation is fully and properly implemented by the Member States. Reaching the proposed 2030 target requires these policies to be strengthened over time. The Commission will continue to work closely with the Member States to undertake the necessary short-term and long-term actions.
The Energy Efficiency Communication is an important component of the 2030 Communication on energy and climate change, released in January 2014, which proposed new 2030 targets for greenhouse gas reductions and renewable energy – 40% and at least 27% respectively.
EU leaders agreed to propose Jean Claude Juncker to the European Parliament for President of the European Commission and defined the strategic agenda of key priorities for the next five years. The European Council took also stock of progress made on the 2030 climate and energy policy framework and looked at a set of most urgent measures to strengthen Europe’s energy security.
The European Commission was represented by Günther H. Oettinger.
The Council reached a political agreement on the issue of possible Indirect Land Use Change related to the production of biofuels. This was followed by a comprehensive policy debate on other key energy policy fields at the top of the EU agenda, such as energy security, the completion of the internal energy market and the policy framework for 2030. The Energy Ministers also discussed energy prices and costs. Council conclusions on energy prices and costs, vulnerable consumers and competitiveness were adopted.
The Hellenic Presidency and the Commission then gave an update on recent developments in the EU's external energy relations. The Commission also briefed the Ministers about the latest developments in the nuclear field. At the end of the meeting the Italian delegation presented their programme for the next EU presidency, which is to start in July.
The European Commission reacts on the current geopolitical environment and the EU´s import dependence: It advocates a new European Energy Security Strategy. Diversifying external energy supplies, upgrading energy infrastructure, completing the EU internal energy market and saving energy are among its main points. The strategy also highlights the need to coordinate national energy policy decisions and the importance of speaking with one voice when negotiating with external partners. It builds on the progress already achieved since the gas crisis in 2009. The proposals of the Commission, including actions to ensure uninterrupted supplies this winter, will be discussed by EU Heads of State or Government at the European Council on 26-27 June.
Commissioner Günther Oettinger said: "We want strong and stable partnerships with important suppliers, but must avoid falling victim to political and commercial blackmail. The EU and its Member States have a long list of homework in front of them: Collectively, we need to reinforce our solidarity with more vulnerable Member States. We also need to complete the internal energy market, improve our infrastructure, become more energy efficient and better exploit our own energy resources. Moreover, we need to accelerate the diversification of external energy suppliers, especially for gas. Only concrete actions will help."
Today European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, EU Energy Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk discussed on ways ahead for EU energy on the occasion of the conference "Paving the way for a European Energy Security Strategy". President Barroso provided orientations on a "European Energy Security Strategy", which the European Commission intends to present ahead of the European Council of 26 and 27 of June. Commissioner Oettinger focused on how to strengthen Europe's security of supply and Polish Prime Minister Tusk presented his proposal for an Energy Union for Europe. In the morning, energy leaders discussed issues such as completing the internal energy market, saving energy, increasing domestic energy production as well as diversifying sources, routes and counterparties of energy imports.
The European Commission has launched the first call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to help finance key trans-European energy infrastructure projects. A total of €750 million will be made available for first priority projects mainly in the gas and electricity sectors. These projects will address security of supply issues and help bring an end to the energy isolation of some Member States. They will also contribute to the completion of the EU-wide internal energy market and to the integration of renewables to the energy grid. The EU funding will accelerate investment in missing cross-border links by leveraging the necessary private and public funding.
European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said: "This is a crucial step. Such a huge amount of EU financial support will make a solid difference. The current Ukraine crisis underlines the importance of upgrading energy infrastructure and building missing interconnections between Member States in order to enhance the energy security in the EU. In general Member States can only help each other with energy supplies, if they are well connected. Moreover, improving the energy infrastructure is a prerequisite for completing the internal energy market for the benefit of consumers and businesses in the EU."
Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger met in Rome the Energy Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States to discuss ways to strengthen collective energy security.
A joint statement was issued addressing energy security as a collective responsibility. Energy leaders agreed on a way forward which should focus on ensuring the diversification of the energy mix, proactive policies in the field of energy efficiency, the diversification of sources and routes, infrastructure protection and consistency with the longer term climate change goals. The G7 Energy also ensured assistance to Ukraine as regards energy security, reminding that today a broader energy security strategy is needed to address the larger dimensions of the globalized energy markets. Moreover, Energy leaders agreed on concrete immediate actions, such as complementing the efforts of the European Commission to develop energy emergency plans for winter 2014-2015 at a regional level. It also called the International Energy Agency to present, together with the European Commission, options for individual and collective actions of the G7 in the field of gas security.
The Forum aims at discussing and developing perspectives for the future energy policy with high level representatives of industry, politics and civil society from different countries.
This year the focus will be on four questions: Will energy costs and prices spiral out of control? Will crude oil and the combustion engine still be indispensable in road transport for many years to come? What is the role of water in energy production? Who are Europe‘s allies in the global energy markets and what will be the impact of the Ukraine crisis on the markets?
Energy Commissioner Oettinger and EIB Vice President Molterer will be joined by the Polish Deputy Minister of the Economy Dycha, the Lithuanian Energy Minister Neverovic, the Member of the Swiss Federal Council in charge of energy and transport Leuthard and the new Romanian Energy Minister Nicolescu. The Austrian Region of Vorarlberg, which is hosting the Forum, will be represented by its Governor, Landeshauptmann Wallner.
Apart from that several representatives of European energy companies have confirmed their participation including the CEOs of OMV, Verbund AG, RWE, EDF Energy and Shell Nederland. Industry will be represented as well by board level participants from, among others, Siemens, Daimler, BASF, Alstom und ABB.
Heute kam der Energierat EU-USA in Brüssel zum fünften Mal zusammen. Den Vorsitz führten die Hohe Vertreterin der EU/Vizepräsidentin der Kommission Catherine Ashton, EU-Energiekommissar Günther Oettinger, US-Außenminister John Kerry und andere. Der Energierat bekräftigte nachdrücklich seine Unterstützung für die Bemühungen der Ukraine um eine Diversifizierung ihrer Erdgasversorgung durch den raschen Ausbau von Reverse-Flow-Kapazitäten und Gasspeichern zwecks Aufrechterhaltung der Gasversorgung der Ukraine und Europas und für die unlängst gemeinsam mit dem IWF angekündigten entschlossenen Maßnahmen zum Aufbau einer wettbewerbsfähigen Energiewirtschaft. Der Rat begrüßte auch die Aussicht auf LNG-Ausfuhren aus den USA in der Zukunft, da zusätzliche Lieferungen aus anderen Teilen der Welt Europa und anderen strategischen Partnern nützen werden.