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Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan

Security and solidarity are essential factors contributing to an efficient energy policy. The European Union intends to change its energy policy by putting the accent on these two values. The aim is to reduce energy consumption by almost 15 % and energy imports by 26 % by 2020. In this perspective, the proposed plan, organised around five main points, should contribute to achieving these aims. It is hoped that by 2050 renewable energies will completely replace carbon-producing energies.

ACT

Communication from the Commission to the European parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Second Strategic Energy Review: an EU energy security and solidarity action plan [COM (2008) 781 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

The European Commission proposes an Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan. It is set out around five main points.

Infrastructure needs and the diversification of energy supplies

With a view to achieving the ‘20-20-20’ objectives, the European Union intends to introduce significant changes to the energy infrastructure. It proposes six priority actions:

  • connecting the remaining isolated energy markets in Europe;
  • developing a southern gas corridor for the supply of gas from Caspian region and Middle Eastern sources;
  • making use of liquefied natural gas to ensure the liquidity and diversity of the European Union markets;
  • linking Europe with the Southern Mediterranean through electricity and gas interconnections;
  • developing gas and electricity interconnections crossing Central and South-East Europe along a north-south axis;
  • developing interconnections between the electric networks of the North-West of Europe so as to optimise wind energy in the North Sea.

External energy relations

The interdependence between States is tending to increase. This is why energy supply must be considered as a priority in international relations.

The Energy Community is building an integrated energy market in Southern Europe. This market is subject to the rules of the European Union. It should be extended to countries such as the Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Turkey, which will contribute to the application of the Community acquis with regard to energy matters and energy security in these countries.

Russia represents a major strategic partner in the energy field. It is important to consolidate this partnership so to make it more stable. The new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement currently being negotiated should include legally binding provisions in the energy field.

It also appears important to step up energy relationships with North Africa, in view of its energy potential. In this context a Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline is anticipated.

Oil and gas stocks and crisis response mechanisms

The Commission proposes to revise European legislation concerning emergency strategic oil stocks, as well as the directive on the security of supply of natural gas.

Energy efficiency

The European Union undertakes to achieve a 20 % improvement in energy efficiency by 2020 as part of the ‘20-20-20 objectives’. It proposes the following initiatives in order to achieve these objectives:

Making the best use of the European Union’s indigenous energy resources

The EU produces 46% of its total energy consumption. 9% of the energy consumed within the EU comes from renewable sources. The EU intends to increase the share of these energy sources to 20% by 2020.

To better promote these energies, the Commission will table a Communication on overcoming barriers to their use. The Commission is working with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other financial institutions to set up the EU Sustainable Energy Financing Initiative.

Furthermore, the Commission intends to table new proposals:

  • a Communication on Financing Low Carbon Technologies;
  • a Communication on Refining Capacity and EU Oil Demand;
  • a revised proposal for a Directive setting up a Community framework for nuclear safety.

Context

The Union currently imports 54% of its energy. It intends therefore to conduct a new policy on energy and the environment. This policy was approved by the European Council in March 2007 During September of the same year. the third package of legislative measures on the internal energy market was presented. In the long term it will allow the objectives of sustainable development, competitiveness and security of supply to be attained.

Last updated: 04.03.2009

See also

For further information, please consult the following website:

Directorate-General for Energy and Transport, European Commission

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