A strong Energy Union is needed to promote EU's sustainable growth, say S&Ds
Today the European Parliament called for a strong Energy Union, in a report that takes on board the main demands of the Socialists and Democrats. During the negotiations the S&D Group pushed for binding measures to make sure that we move from a fossil fuel-centric vision of energy to a progressive vision in line with the engagements taken at the UN Conference against Climate Change in Paris.
S&D vice-president Kathleen Van Brempt MEP said:
"The recent climate conference in Paris shows that we need to step up our ambition in the EU and ask for the European Council's targets to be revised upwards – in line with the S&D Group's amendments – to go for a binding target of 40% energy efficiency. The EU has showed effective and credible leadership in Paris, and only binding targets for the transition of our energy model will keep us in the lead.
"We Socialists and Democrats have a clear vision of the path to take: the Energy Union is one of the columns of the circular economy we want to put in place, not only to achieve the goals set in Paris, but also to improve everyday life for our citizens.
"The Energy Union will help our industries, transport systems and buildings to adapt to a carbon-free sustainable economy; it will make us less dependent on foreign resources; it will create new jobs; and it will reduce energy prices for households."
S&D spokesperson on industry and energy, Dan Nica MEP said:
"Today we voted on two key reports: on the Energy Union and on the goal to achieve 10% electricity interconnection. Together they will contribute to a more secure, sustainable and competitive energy market, with better consumer protection and more transnational regional co-operation. Now we must mobilise the financial resources to meet the interconnection objective.
"This is also very good news for our companies. A fully integrated market will ensure security of supply, energy efficiency and optimal use of energy resources in the EU, where research and innovation have a very important role to play. This virtuous circle of growth and efficiency will maximise benefits for new industries and the IT sector while ensuring support for labour and traditional industries."
Flavio Zanonato, the S&D MEP responsible for this report, said:
"With today's vote the Parliament is at the forefront in pushing towards the overarching objective of a European Energy Union. We want a fully integrated and secure energy system, able to address the climate challenge whilst taking into account the social dimension of the transition toward an ultimately decarbonised economy. We want competitive prices and a truly EU-wide level playing field, with renewable energy sources and energy efficiency at its core."