External aspects of Energy Security

A Greens/EFA motion for a resolution

Tabled by Rebecca Harms, Claude Turmes, Reinhard Buetikofer, Werner Schulz and Franziska Brantner
on behalf of the Green/EFA Group

The European Parliament,

  • having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, The European and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled "Second Strategic Energy Review: An EU Security and Solidarity Action Plan" {SEC(2008)2870} {Sec(2008)2871} {Sec(2008)2872} along with accompanying documents: Europe's current and future energy position: Demand-resources-investments; The Market for Solid Fuels in the EU in 2004-2006 and Trends in 2007{COM(2008)744},
  • having regard to the Green Paper on Towards a Secure, Sustainable and Competitive European Energy Network along with accompanying document: Oil Infrastructures: An assessment of the existing and planed oil infrastructures within and towards the EU{COM(2008)737},
  • having regard to its resolution of 26 September 2007 on towards a common European foreign policy on energy[1],
  • having regard to the Commission green paper entitled "A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy" (COM(2006)0105),
  • having regard to the joint paper by the Commission and the Council's Secretary-General/High Representative (SG/HR) entitled "An external policy to serve Europe's energy interests", submitted to the European Council of 15-16 June 2006,
  • having regard to its position of 18 May 2006 on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion by the European Community of the Energy Community Treaty²,
  • having regard to its resolution of 23 March 2006 on security of energy supply in the European Union³,
  • having regard to the Commission Communication to the European Council of 12 October 2006 entitled "External energy relations – from principles to action" (COM(2006)0590),
  • having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council of 23-24 March 2006, concerning the European Council's endorsement of the Green Paper on an Energy Policy for Europe, and of 15-16 June 2006 concerning the joint paper by the Commission and the SG/HR on the external aspects of energy security,
  • having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Council and the European Parliament entitled "An Energy Policy for Europe" (COM(2007)0001),
  • having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council of 8-9 March 2007, and the European Council's Action Plan (2007-2009) for an Energy Policy for Europe (EPE),
  • having regard the agreement signed between the EU and Turkey on the legal framework for the Nabucco gas pipeline of 13 July;
  • having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council of 19-20 March,
  • having regard to the Commission proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning measures to safeguard security of gas supply and repealing Directive 2004/67/EC
  • having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Regulation concerning the notification to the Commission of investment projects in energy infrastructure within the European Community and repealing Regulation (EC) No 736/96
  • having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas energy security constitutes an essential component of the overall security, stability and prosperity of the European Union, for which, however, there is still no basis under the Treaties,

B. whereas the lack of a genuine and effective Common European Energy Security Policy deeply undermines the consistency and the credibility of the EU external action with regard, in particular, to the promotion of the values upon which the EU is founded,

C. whereas the EU's dependency on energy imports is significant at present and is projected to increase under current terms,

D. whereas a big share of the EU gas supplies is consumed in buildings; whereas investments in no-energy and very low energy buildings will produce more results in terms of gas independence than the North Stream, South Stream and Nabucco together,

E. whereas the most-cost-effective solution for reducing EU energy dependency is to stimulate energy savings,renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, which also contribute to job creation, combating climate change and progress towards a resource-efficient economy;

F. whereas despite the drop in oil and gas prices as a result of the global financial crisis, the slow progress in switching to an energy efficient and fully renewables-based economy, declining output from the world's oil and gas fields and the continuing growth in demand, inevitably mean a return to the tightening of the fossil fuel markets and increasing import dependency for the consuming countries, once the crisis is over,

G. whereas several Member States are highly dependent on a single supplier of natural gas and unwarranted disruption in its supply can cause a severe crisis, as demonstrated during the Russia-Ukraine gas crisis at the beginning of this year,

H. whereas the existing early warning instruments proved insufficient for predicting the gas crisis of January 2009,

I. whereas predictable threats to security of energy supplies will continue to exist as long as the energy supplier and transit countries do not abide by common and transparent rules, as defined by the Energy Charter Treaty and the Transit Protocol,

J. whereas a common external energy policy, based on solidarity, diversification, unity in defending the common interests, strengthened cooperation with the major energy producer, transit and consumer countries, and on the promotion of indigenous renewable energy sources, such as the wind and solar power, would create synergies towards ensuring security of supply for the European Union and would enhance the EU's strength, capacity for action in foreign policy matters and credibility as a global actor, including in the field of climate change,

K. whereas our dependency on diesel imports increases as a result of an over-stretched pro-diesel policy in the transport sector, 

L. whereas on 13 July four Member States and Turkey signed an agreement in Ankara paving the way for the Nabucco pipeline in order to reduce the EU's dependence on Russian gas,

M. whereas on 6 August Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan signed a protocol with Russian Prime Minister Putin to start exploration work on the South Stream pipeline, which is a potentially competing infrastructure in the Southern corridor and, on the contrary, increases EU's dependence on Russia; whereas some Member States are also involved in the South Stream project;

N. whereas according to the statements of Scaroni, CEO of ENI, the Italian public company leading the South Stream project with Gazprom, Nabucco will never been completed,

  1. Expects the Commission and the Member States to adopt strategic leadership in the establishment of a common European foreign policy on energy, as called for by the Parliament resolution of  26 September 2007;
  2. Welcomes measures towards the reduction of the energy consumption in the EU as the cheapest and fastest way of improving the EU's energy security; considers, however, that clearly defined policies and measures and speedy implementation are needed towards their implementation, in particular in the buildings and transport sectors;
  3. Considers the improvement of interconnections within Europe essential, since the filling of the existing gaps is essential to the efficient functioning of the internal market and energy solidarity;
  4. Stresses that energy dialogues should in no way take place at the expense of frank and results-oriented dialogues on human rights;
  5. Underlines the strategic importance of diversification of gas supplies with regard, in particular, to the Southern Corridor;
  6. Stresses that energy dialogues should in no way take place at the expense of frank and results-oriented dialogues on human rights;
  7. Points out, in this regard, that Nabucco and South Stream are both aimed at mainly linking the EU to new sources of gas, notably the Caspian region and the Middle East; regrets, in this respect, the potential competition of the two pipelines and the relevant unsustainable situation in the Southern Corridor; 
  8. Recalls that Nabucco is an EU priority project for the development of which 250 million Euros have been allocated by the Commission; deplores, in this regard, the role played by some of the Member States involved in South Stream that by signing bilateral agreements with the Russian Federation are undermining the Nabucco project and weakening EU energy diversification guidelines and targets;
  9. Regrets the Commission's lack of reaction and inability to develop an effective coordination between Member Countries on such a sensitive question;
  10. Urges the Council to start an open and transparent discussion with a view to developing and implementing a genuine Common European Energy Security Policy aimed also at avoiding bilateral agreements which could undermine the Union's security or have a negative impact on other Member States;
  11. Welcomes the idea of the DESERTEC project which adds to the credibility of the long-term target for a 100% global renewables-based economy and offers a real sustainable energy and economic development perspective for the non-EU Mediterranean countries, under the condition that the project shall primarily serve the local demand for sustainable energy and job creation in the concerned countries, while any remaining electricity might eventually be exported to the EU;points out, in this regard, that DESERTEC should not undermine EU efforts to promote renewables at domestic level, in order to reach its ultimate goal of becoming a 100% energy-efficient renewables-based economy;
  12. Urges the Commission to integrate energy efficiency and renewable energy sources into the European Neighbourhood Policy;
  13. Asks the Commission to come forward with concrete proposals to reduce diesel use in the EU;
  14. Finds the number of the Commission staff working on the external dimension of energy security, including the diversification projects, insufficient; considers that if the ambitious declared objectives of the Energy Policy of Europe are to be achieved and the monitoring and analytical capacities improved, this should also be reflected in the number of internal resources allocated;
  15. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop an appropriate "solidarity clause", including conditions and procedures of intervention in case of emergency due to disruption of energy supplies in other Member States in accordance with the Treaty of Lisbon;
  16. Calls on the Commission to draw up a comprehensive assessment of the EU's existing and planned gas infrastructure and electricity grid, specifying the schedule and the costs;
  17. Strongly supports the view that the EU should engage in close dialogue with key energy suppliers, with a view to reinforcing energy interdependence and energy security for the whole of the EU, with a particular focus on greater efficiency, equal market access, non-discrimination and transparency;
  18. Stresses that the EU needs to maintain a coherent position towards supplier and transit countries and to put pressure them to abide by their commitments and obligations;
  19. Calls for more efforts to anticipate potential problems in energy supplies in order to avoid future disturbances by developing, inter alia, effectiveness of the NESCO;
  20. Looks forward to examining the recent Commission proposal towards reviewing existing early warning mechanisms, the NESCO and other instruments that proved inefficient in the light of the 2009 Russia-Ukraine energy crisis;
  21. Suggests the development of a common EU approach on negotiations of transit rules and fees with the external partners;
  22. Calls on the Commission to take immediate action against hostile takeover moves by non-transparent foreign entities in the EU´s energy market; is alarmed by the Surgut Neftegaz´s recent acquisition of a stake in the Hungarian energy company MOL and Surgut Neftgaz´s inability to disclose its ownership structure and the identity of its ultimate beneficiary owners as legitimately requested by the Hungarian energy market regulator; 
  23. Emphasises that the progress in building a common European energy policy depends to a large extent on the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty; urges the EU and the Member States to take steps to secure a binding, progressive and all-encompassing Treaty basis for a common European energy supply and security; supports the Lisbon Treaty, which contains an energy solidarity clause and makes energy policy a shared responsibility between the EU and the Member States, as a step in the right direction;
  24. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.