25.02.2015 Energy Union - first reactions of MEPs


In a debate on Wednesday afternoon on the Commission's plan for an Energy Union, most MEPs welcomed the plan, but asked for more ambition. Whereas some political groups gave their strong support to the idea of more coordination, others warned against interfering with national priorities.

"This is a step forward if we are going to meet the current challenges such as a lack of integration and too high gas prices. Recent events in Ukraine have taught us that we need to be more independent and better integrated", said Françoise GROSSETÊTE (EPP, FR), starting the debate. "However, we need to make sure that the existing rules are applied before we create new ones and we need Member States to work with us", she added.

"We need to put the patchwork of 28 different markets behind us", said Kathleen VAN BREMPT (NL), speaking on behalf of the S&D group: "I hope this will lead to a "solar and wind community", which is sustainable and carbon free. I am also glad that you regard energy efficiency as an energy source - "negawatts" can compete with megawatts. Now, we need to invest in renewables and infrastructure. Let's take the Energy Union and the Juncker Plan as a means to start a new economy."

"This is an historic time for energy policy; we need to get started right away", added Marek Józef GRÓBARCZYK (ECR, PL). "But this proposal is disappointing; it is just a façade, not a real response to the situation. I call on the Commission and on the member states, especially president Tusk, to deliver on their promises and build a real energy union."

"Our security depends on the member states working together. The European Commission should be more involved and make sure that we have only one policy not 28", said Morten Helveg PETERSEN (DK), speaking for ALDE group. "We want to go further when it comes to energy efficiency and renewables - this is not only about the environment but also about sound business thinking."

"We still have a situation with "energy islands" and the timeline does not seem to be achievable" said Cypriot Neoklis SYLIKIOTIS, speaking for the GUE/NGL group. "We need concrete deliverables to reduce energy poverty. The Commission should not be involved in national energy deals - each country should have the freedom to enter into agreements."

"We have always said that the EU needs a project for the future - Energy Union could be that vector for the future", said Rebecca HARMS (Greens/EFA, DE), adding: "my fear is that the EU is missing out of some of the opportunities available. Too much of the plan is related to yesterday's instead of tomorrow's technologies. There is no strategy to move away from gas consumption, just ideas of changing the source of the gas. And how can you call this an Energy Union for the citizens if you include nuclear power? We know that most citizens are against that."

Dario TAMBURRANO (EFDD, IT): "We should not repeat the answers of 50 years ago. We need an indigenous generation of own resources. There is a danger that we make ourselves dependent on a new kind of external resources."

"Interconnectivity is vital, but if there is no energy, what is the use? In Hungary, nuclear energy is important - that is why we negotiate with Russia. All member states have their own priorities; we need to protect their sovereignty", said Zoltán BALCZÓ (NI, HU).

Further information

Watch the debate again (available shortly)

Press officer, Industry and Energy Committee
(+32) 2 28 34018 (BXL)
(+33) 3 881 72420 (STR)
(+32) 498 98 13 36

Press officer, Industry and Energy Committee
(+32) 2 28 41498 (BXL)
(+33) 3 881 74005  (STR)
(+32) 498 98 33 34

This is an informal message intended to help journalists covering the work of the European Parliament.  It is neither an official press release nor a comprehensive record of proceedings.

To subscribe or unsubscribe to press releases and alerts for the Industry Committee, please send an email to