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On  the  initiative  of  Christos PAPOUTSIS,  the  Energy  Commissioner,  the
European Commission has deecided  to set up a  decision setting up an  Energy
Consultative  Committee  in  order  to ensure  that  there  is  openness  and
transparency in  the future  development of  energy policies  and actions  at
Community level. The purpose of setting up  the Energy Consultative Committee
is to provide  a forum for  developing new  ideas concerning European  energy
policy  and the  basis for  an informal  and  yet institutionalized  dialogue
whereby  the Commission  can enlist  the support  of the  energy sector  when
preparing its decisions. 

The Energy Consultative  Committee will  be involved  in the  framing of  the
Commission s energy policy proposals.  It will have three main tasks: 

     -    To  identify  energy policy  areas in  which  Commission  action is
          needed;

     -    To advise on how to implement the Commission s proposals;

     -    To  deliver  opinions  on  proposals  before  they  are  officially
          adopted by the Commission.  

Commissioner   PAPOUTSIS  had   mentioned  the   setting-up  of   the  Energy
Consultative Committee  at an  information meeting of  the Energy Council  in
February 1996 in Bologna. In  addition, the White Paper  on an energy  policy
for  the European  Union advocates  a number  of  energy policy  instruments,
including an  Energy Consultative Committee which  would play a central  role
in the process of framing energy policy. 

Commissioner  PAPOUTSIS stressed  that 'Energy  policy can  only be developed
and implemented effectively  with the support of those actively  and directly
involved  and concerned  by  it.  That  is  why I  want  to  assemble  energy
producers  and consumers  and unions  and environmentalists  around  the same
table. I believe that  this new approach will help  to bring about an  energy
policy based on cooperation and transparency.' 

The  Consultative  Committee  will consist  of  31  members  representing the
bodies consulted  during the  preparation of the  Energy Green Paper  and the
White Paper on an  energy policy for the  European Union which indicated  the
importance they  attach to  dialogue and transparency  in the formulation  of
energy  policy: 15  members  representing the  energy  industry as  a  whole,
8 members  representing  energy  consumers,  6 members   representing  energy
sector unions and workers,  one member representing environmental  protection
organizations, and one representative of the Commission departments. 

An alternate will be appointed for each  full member.  The term of  office of
full members of  the Energy Consultative Committee and their  alternates will
be three years and may be renewed once. 

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