S&Ds call for a strong Energy Union that can provide affordable energy for all
The Socialist and Democrats today backed a proposal for an Energy Union at a vote in the European Parliament's industry and energy committee. The S&D Group amended the initial proposal in order to turn it from a fossil fuel-centric text to a much more balanced one putting the citizen centre stage and highlighting the crucial role of energy efficiency, renewable energy and the need for intelligent infrastructure to make the energy transition.
S&D vice-president Kathleen Van Brempt MEP said:
“Creating an Energy Union is crucial from all points of view: it will not only help our industries, transport systems and buildings to adapt to a carbon-free sustainable economy, but it will also make EU governments less dependent on foreign resources and will reduce energy prices for households.
“Millions of families across Europe cannot afford heating or electricity. Measures included in this package will help them and will also encourage small-scale generation for communities and households."
S&D spokesperson on industry and energy, Dan Nica MEP said:
“We have achieved our main objectives as Socialists and Democrats: to include industrial competitiveness and energy efficiency, and also to tackle energy poverty. We will do our utmost to get a majority for the plenary vote.
“We will insist that the Parliament is fully engaged in the legislative process to build this Energy Union. We cannot leave this crucial area to mere co-ordination between 28 governments but must use the full potential of the EU, its institutions and resources."
Flavio Zanonato, the S&D MEP responsible for this report, said:
“The European Union needs an ambitious, reliable, transparent and democratic post-2020 governance framework for the Energy Union in order to ensure that the 2030 climate and energy targets are achieved and exceeded. This framework, as included in the resolution adopted today, will allow for the full implementation, enforcement and updating of existing climate and energy legislation.
“Today we lay the foundations for a long-term vision that will promote a new economic model based on innovation and sustainability, a model that will increase energy solidarity between EU member states and regions – by promoting grids and avoiding energy islands – and will also increase EU competitiveness in the world.”
The Parliament position strongly backs the proposal by Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič and it sends an important message ahead of the upcoming climate negotiations in Paris.