President. – The next item is the recommendation for second reading of the report by Anne Laperrouze, on behalf of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, on the guidelines for trans-European energy networks and on the annulment of decision no 96/391/EC and decision no (10720/1/2005 – C6-0016/2006 – 2003/0297(COD)) (A6-0071/2006).
Anne Laperrouze (ALDE), rapporteur. – (FR) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, allow me most sincerely to thank my fellow draftsmen from the other political groups, in particular Mrs Ayuso and Mr Swoboda, who have supported me throughout my assessment and who have contributed a great deal to the text that is presented to you today and that will be submitted for your approval tomorrow.
I should like to thank the representatives of the European Commission and of the secretariat of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy for their listening skills and their responses to the issues raised. I should also like to highlight the positive role played by the Austrian Presidency, which has endeavoured to find wordings that, being based on Parliament’s first reading, would win the support of the Member States.
I believe that it is worth pointing out the objectives of this proposal for a decision. It is a question of guaranteeing a European label for the Olefin transport networks, thereby enabling them to lay claim to loans from the European Investment Bank, of adapting the guidelines to the shape of a European Union composed of 25 Member States, of authorising the funding of projects of common interest, of enabling an internal market in gas and electricity to be created and, above all, of ensuring the security of supply, thanks to interconnections between Member States and neighbouring countries: countries in South-East Europe, Mediterranean countries, Ukraine and Belarus.
Whereas the Council common position, which was communicated in January, proposed a different approach to that of Parliament in that it rejected the declaration of European interest and the appointment of a coordinator, the work at second reading enabled compromise amendments to be drafted during informal trialogues, which involved Parliament, the Presidency of the Council and the European Commission. These compromise amendments entirely correspond to our objectives at first reading. Among other things, they define the projects of European interest as a series of projects on priority axes which are of a cross-border nature or which have significant impact on cross-border transmission capacity. It will thus be possible for these projects to be considered as priorities for funding under the category of trans-European energy networks and to receive special attention under the category of other Community funds.
The delay in implementation will be looked into, and the joint coordination meetings will address, in particular, the evaluation and the public consultation procedures. These amendments will also provide a better definition of the role of the European coordinator, who it will be possible to appoint when a project experiences significant delays or problems to do with implementation. This coordinator will promote the European dimension of the project, will help coordinate national procedures for consulting the populations concerned and will submit an annual progress report on the project.
Commissioner, allow me, however, to express two regrets. On the one hand, the low level of funding available for trans-European energy networks, which is probably only just enough to fund a few feasibility studies. On the other hand, you are aware that Parliament did not want to question the legitimacy of the projects featuring in the annexes to the report. Nevertheless, it seems to me that priority ought to be given to projects that help secure the supply of as many States as possible, thereby promoting this European dimension. I am thinking, in particular, of the Baltic States, whose gas networks are by no means enough to provide them with a secure and sustainable supply, bearing in mind that priority was given to the Russian-German gas pipeline as a result of the agreements made between Mr Schröder and Mr Putin. I call on you to encourage the implementation of the infrastructure needed in order to supply all States.
In view of the recent crisis between Ukraine and Russia and of the statements made at Hampton Court, a European energy policy is essential. This text therefore provides the European institutions with the opportunity to demonstrate their desire for such a policy. The new provisions introducing the declaration of European interest and the opportunity to appoint a coordinator are tools crucial to creating a genuine internal market in gas and electricity and to guaranteeing the security of supply. This European network can only be achieved, however, by increasing the number of interconnections.
Ladies and gentlemen, I call on you to support the common position as amended by this compromise package. Our vote will enable us to provide the Union with one of the tools needed in order to attain the objectives that it has set itself.
Andris Piebalgs, Member of the Commission. Mr President, quite recently we had the opportunity to discuss the issues related to the Green Paper on common energy policy. I believe that the issues we are debating today – security of supply, environmental sustainability and competitiveness – are very closely related, and Europe needs a European answer. We also need to look at how to mobilise investments in Europe. The trans-European networks are part of that.
Sometimes it is said that there are not enough funds for that, but I recently had the opportunity to be proud of a project we are supporting: the future electricity interconnector between Ireland and Wales. This clearly shows how European funds are being used. There are many such projects of which we can be proud; the feasibility studies we financed paved the way for that interconnector and that infrastructure. From that point of view, I very much appreciate the work done by the rapporteur, the shadow rapporteurs and everybody who has helped to develop this particular decision.
I really believe that trans-European energy networks will provide for enhanced development of the European Union. As regards natural gas, for example, there is an increasing dependency on gas imports; we know that will continue. The Trans-European Energy Network Policy aims to secure and diversify additional gas import capacity from sources such as the Caspian basin region, northern Africa or the Middle East.
We have often debated in Brussels about the need to develop the European electricity market further. Again, for the electricity market, the trans-European energy networks will provide for the creation and fostering of real European interconnections and a European grid.
We should not only look for money from our taxpayers; we must also attract money for those projects from the European Investment Bank, the structural funds and private investors, because there is money available for investment. Thus far, the real bottleneck is a lack of political will to build those projects or a lack of ability to take appropriate decisions.
The decision was already proposed to Parliament in December 2003. At that time, it looked at the new challenges created through enlargement as well as at the essential energy connections with third countries.
As to the choice of projects, the Commission identified the projects of highest priority from among the larger family of projects of common interest. Now, thanks to the negotiations between the three institutions, we have a compromise that seems – at least at this stage –acceptable to us all. The projects of highest priority, a very selective list of projects of European interest, have the objective of supporting the rapid implementation of the largest possible cross-border interconnection capacity. To achieve that aim, the projects of European interest need to comply with specific criteria. They must be of cross-border nature or have a significant impact on cross-border transmission capacity, and they must be mature.
One important result achieved between the first and second reading is the European Coordinator, whose role is considered essential as he or she will encourage cooperation with users and operators and promote the projects amongst private investors and financial institutions. As a member of the European Commission group on trans-European networks, I have seen the good work the current European coordinators have done for transport infrastructures, because they really work to promote them, to find and identify the bottlenecks and try to find solutions.
I note with satisfaction that the main elements of the Commission proposal have been retained in the package deal you are to vote on tomorrow. I can thus fully support the agreement reached.
I should like to thank once again all those involved in finding this compromise.
María del Pilar Ayuso González, on behalf of the PPE-DE Group. – (ES) Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, this is a key moment in terms of energy. The Green Paper and the recent reports by the European Commission on the state of liberalisation of the energy markets demonstrate this. All of them demonstrate the need to enhance interconnections amongst the States and to move ahead with the implementation of the trans-European networks, in order to improve all of these energy services.
The rapporteur, Mrs Laperrouze, has done an excellent job, and I congratulate her, because she has been able to reconcile the demands of the Members of this Parliament with the positions of the Commission and the Council. We support the maximum priority projects which are of a cross-border nature and which may increase transport capacity, security of supply and the trade in gas and electricity amongst the Member States. In short, a more efficient system, which will have a positive impact on prices for companies and consumers.
In order to make the European energy network a reality, we must prevent unnecessary delays in the execution of projects, particularly those of European interest. The governments must put all of their efforts into removing these administrative obstacles, and a European coordinator, who can contribute to speeding up projects of European interest that are experiencing significant delays or difficulties in their implementation, would therefore be an important figure.
I do not wish to end without mentioning the recent European Summit of 23 and 24 March, at which energy policy was treated as it should be treated, as a priority issue. In particular, I am delighted that the Council has reintroduced the objective of increasing electricity interconnections between the Member States to a level equivalent to 10% of installed capacity, as agreed at the Barcelona European Council in 2002.
The increase in interconnections amongst the Member States and the increase in gas storage capacity are priority issues for the internal market. I believe that this text that we are going to vote on tomorrow is a good step in the right direction.
Hannes Swoboda, on behalf of the PSE Group. – (DE) Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I would like first of all to thank the rapporteur, Mrs Laperrouze, for the outstanding work she has done, and particularly for the way she has consulted the shadow rapporteurs and for the good debates we have had.
When we started working on this, we had no idea as to what the actual situation would be when this report saw the light of day. The latest events have shown not only how precarious Europe’s energy supply is in some respects, but also how necessary it is in terms of our continent’s competitiveness that the supply of energy be improved, and in a sustainable way too.
We are very glad that the Commission, the Council and Parliament are in agreement as to the goals that energy policy must pursue, particularly when the supply of energy is concerned. It is clear, of course, that not every kind of networking or connection to a network will automatically make for greater security, since certain problems can be carried over from one area to another, but, on the whole, if the electricity grid and the networks supplying natural gas and oil are made stronger, it becomes easier to compensate for them. That would be made possible if we were to invest more in achieving diversification, something to which we are committed not merely as a concept, but also as an objective.
Mrs Laperrouze is right: it is unfortunate that the budget should make inadequate provision for this area, but this would in any case be only a small part of the total cost that would be incurred and which would have to be borne by the individual Member States, since it is in their interests to do so.
Something else that is very important is the demand for the appointment of European coordinators to be an option. You, Commissioner, pointed out that positive signs are already evident in the transport sector, and that is indeed the case. I was not in agreement with all the framework conditions imposed on the appointment of coordinators, but we do in principle need them if certain projects are really to be got moving. If I might, with reference to the supply of gas, mention the Nabucco project, which affects several European countries indirectly and many directly, and would enable us to achieve the diversification we seek, then this would be one project that needs to be embarked on with all speed if security of supply is to be guaranteed. These coordinators can mediate between one country and another and perhaps avoid the sort of situation that has occurred with the Russia/Germany project – not because there is anything intrinsically wrong with the project, but because it would have been possible to involve other countries – Poland and the Baltic states for example – from the outset too.
I hope that our energy policy in future will be a truly European one, not least where individual projects are concerned.
Vittorio Prodi, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – (IT) Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I should like to begin by thanking my colleague, Mrs Laperrouze, for her work on the trans-European energy networks.
I entirely agree with her position, which laments the ever imminent danger of a return to national positions, when we ought to be much more determined to construct strong and genuinely European networks for both electricity and gas. It is only at this level that we can manage energy most effectively: for example, it is only by means of an actual network on a European scale that we will be able to fully exploit the great potential of wind power and, at the same time, the capabilities of the base load represented by the French nuclear reactors.
It is only at this level that we can ensure genuine competition on the European market among European champions, not national champions. The recent reduction in supplies, precisely during a period of high demand for gas, highlighted how both the interconnection between originally national systems and the effective introduction of storage facilities – including by keeping exploited gas fields that are in the process of depletion on line – are absolutely crucial in terms of implementing solidarity among countries. Such solidarity is inalienable, as has already been highlighted effectively in the Green Paper.
That also means that we need a point of reference that can act at European level, a coordinator that can secure a genuine market for both gas and electricity and that guarantees the security of supply and the optimal use of the resources at any one time.
The construction of a genuinely European network is an unavoidable necessity. We therefore urge the Council, the entire Union and all of the institutions to ensure that this is made possible, in the interest of the Member States and of the Union as a whole.
Esko Seppänen, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – (FI) Mr President, Commissioner, the objective regarding trans-European energy networks is a good and necessary one. A single market, however, will not solve all the problems, and, furthermore, it will bring with it new ones.
If a trans-European single market for electricity is established, it will mean a rise in the price of electricity, for example, in my country, Finland. If the price of electricity in some other country falls, consumers in my country will pay for it. In a single market, producers of cheap atomic and hydroelectric power would always sell the electricity at the highest market price. Consumers in the producer country, in our case Finland, will not enjoy any price advantage linked to the fact that our waterfalls are harnessed for the production of energy from the fishing industry and transport for that spent nuclear fuel is buried for all eternity in our soil.
We have recent experience of the Nordic single electricity market concerning how producers speculate on the price of electricity so that they do not utilise all their production capacity. During the peak in gas prices in Great Britain, the gas pipeline to the continent was not being used to full capacity. The free market also means the freedom to speculate.
IN THE CHAIR: MR OUZKÝ Vice-President
Ryszard Czarnecki (NI). – (PL) Mr President, looking at the energy policy controversy between the Council and the European Parliament, we cannot but ask ourselves: is the Union to be an institution in appearance only, is it just to pretend to take action, is it to be a theatre of fiction? Because this is really what this controversy is about.
There are lessons to be learned from this year’s disputes between Ukraine and Russia and between Russia and Georgia, and those which could take place between Belarus and Russia in the near future.
The common European energy policy, while of course retaining the sovereignty of the individual Member States, must nevertheless be a new quantity. Old methods were good for old times – the times when we had 10, 12 or 15 Member States. Today, following the enlargement of the Union, the old mechanisms, illustrated by the old Polish proverb about everybody hoeing their own row and managing on their own, will no longer suffice.
We are facing new challenges, for instance relating to diversity of supply. This is not a political problem, but a problem of security and an economic problem. Poland wants to diversify its supply base so as not to be dependent on Russia. Spain too wishes to follow the principle of diversification and to buy more from Russia so as not to be dependent on its existing suppliers.
The European Union has the chance of achieving a real rather than a virtual coordination of these actions at this time. Europe must correctly read the signs of the times and respond to the new challenges. The dispute about the European regulator and about European priority projects is in reality a conflict of visions, of whether the energy policy for Europe is to become a reality or whether it is to remain on paper. If the latter, if it is to represent a simple sum of national policies, then let us say it straight out, and let us not pretend that the Union has a new, common policy. Yet let us not be surprised about anything afterwards.
Paul Rübig (PPE-DE). (DE) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank Commissioner Kroes, who is responsible for these matters, for being present with us today, for it is she who is in charge of the sector inquiry which will show us where there are bottlenecks in the energy market and whether these occur naturally or by human volition.
The second thing I want to say is that Commissioner Piebalgs is currently engaged in the review, the result of which will show us where action is needed. Recent legislation, particularly that applicable to unbundling, has brought the market entirely new opportunities. In view of the fact that 280 projects are being presented today – 19 of them in Austria – it will be necessary to appoint coordinators who will be able to deal with the various problems that can arise in such contexts in an interdisciplinary way. The coordinators might then form a body of their own, consulting among themselves and using best practice methods and benchmarking to achieve progress.
Perhaps it might also be advisable to devise precise timetables – that is to say, determining not only costs but also dates – and, as we indeed do in other areas, changing priorities as appropriate when going over one deadline or another. The transfer stations, too, are relevant not only in terms of liberalisation, for there is also an ownership issue involved. Does ownership of them reside in the European Union or elsewhere, and are special agreements required? That is an important situation in terms of foreign policy.
Something else that needs to be considered is emergency systems: What happens in the event of emergencies or acts of terrorism or other events that cause major problems with energy? Is it possible, in such an eventuality, to connect up certain providers or consumers? What about the software that is needed to do this? This is where action will be urgently needed in the future. I would ask the Commissioner to have a Green Paper produced on this subject, so that, when disaster strikes, the necessary action can be taken throughout Europe and also by our neighbours.
Reino Paasilinna (PSE). – (FI) Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, the resolution on security of energy supply adopted last month states that the creation of energy networks is a number one priority, which is true. TEN-Energy Networks have an important role to play in the Union’s internal energy market and security of supply, and it is security of supply that is the biggest problem we face. The new Member States of the Union must be involved in this as soon as possible. Speculation, something that was mentioned here, is one cause of the problems, which we in the Nordic countries have experienced. Perhaps the coordinators could do something about this.
Our recent energy crises have shown that there is too much dependence on imported energy. We therefore need an energy policy in which one country can help its neighbour, albeit in a way that is fair. This is urgently needed as well. For this reason, I hope that this matter will be quickly brought to a conclusion at second reading.
We need to contemplate how Europe might rid itself of a situation in which it is crisis-prone in the context of the energy markets. No action at the present time will have any quick effect. Apart from anything else, consumption is growing all the time. We therefore need to create an entirely new kind of energy ethic which takes this situation into account. We have to think about a basic approach to saving energy. People no longer know what the dark and gloom are when there is always light everywhere.
Consequently, I would ask the Commissioner whether it could put together an up-to-date energy saving package, based on a new ethic, which would show people, industry and society the way towards saving energy, because that would actually be the most sustainable path of all. At the same time, moreover, we would produce energy-saving technology and use renewable energy sources.
Šarūnas Birutis (ALDE). – (LT) Commissioner, first of all, I would like to congratulate the rapporteur and say that I support the agreement being striven for, but once more would like to draw attention to the fact that today Member States, which are part of the Baltic region, are practically isolated from European energy systems. Regrettably, the revision of the TEN-E annexes failed to take the geo-political situation into account. The controversial North European Pipeline, which goes around the Baltic countries and Poland, remains on the list of priority projects, while projects which were put forward for inclusion on the priority project list, and which are particularly important for this region, like the ‘Amber’ gas pipeline and the ‘Yamal II’, able to cross Belarus, or additional synchronised electricity connections, have not been debated by the European Council. This is not right.
In 2006, the European Commission must prepare a plan of priority connections, which would determine concrete measures for the integration of isolated energy markets. Member States must show solidarity, taking common interests into account. This is the only way to guarantee a secure supply of energy resources across the European Union.
Jacky Henin (GUE/NGL). – (FR) Mr President, that did not happen in Europe, but it could have done. Not only have we failed to learn any lessons from the power cuts in California in 2000, but you are creating conditions that will result in Europe also experiencing a large-scale energy disaster.
Your proposals will result in a more expensive and less reliable energy supply. Separating the transport network from electrical energy production units is an economic, ecological and industrial aberration. Once again, the European institutions are taking the side of financial interests to the detriment of the general interest. The capitalist market is incapable of making long-term investments in the energy sector. Satisfying shareholders’ interests means sacrificing research, sustainable development and security. The decision to artificially create a large internal energy market will also lead to a large number of jobs being axed and many others being put in jeopardy.
Our Union needs a strong European public arm, funded by the public in order to fulfil the needs of Europeans.
Andreas Mölzer (NI). – (DE) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, it is essential that the supply of energy to the European Union should be secure, reliable and reasonably-priced, for the sake of both private citizens and the businesses based in it, and in order to maintain the competitiveness of the EU’s industries. Improving the efficiency of energy generation and making the best possible use of existing production capacity and infrastructure makes sense not only in economic terms but also, without doubt, as a way of protecting the environment.
If we are going to develop the infrastructure for the energy networks right across the EU, we ought at least also to equip them with new technologies in order to make them more efficient, to avoid the unnecessary duplication of pipelines, and to reduce to a minimum such forms of environmental pollution as the escape of methane from natural gas pipelines. It would also be an important step towards achieving the target of reducing energy consumption.
Important though considerations of the security of the European Union’s energy supply might be, energy policy cannot be a reason for promoting, on a massive scale, the accession of Turkey to the EU. I do not believe that any country outside Europe should be allowed to become an EU Member State if the only reason for it being allowed in is the desire to extend the EU to the boundaries of the energy-rich regions in the Middle East and around the Caspian Sea. Even if Turkey does not become a member, the mooted oil pipelines will still be able to run through it and it will still be possible to realise the gas infrastructure projects. I believe that these things will be possible even if Turkey becomes no more than a privileged partner of the European Union rather than a fully-fledged Member State.
Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE-DE). – (LT) The goals of the proposed decision, which we are debating today, are clear – to adapt the landmarks for the expanded 25-member European Union, to allow the funding of common importance projects to be determined, to bring about conditions for the creation of an internal gas and electricity market, and most importantly, to guarantee the security of power supplies by connecting Member State networks with one another and with those of neighbouring countries, the countries in the regions of South Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea, Ukraine, etc. During the first debate, the European Parliament already approved the Commission's proposals on the laying down of priority actions, the description of projects of European importance and the appointment of a European coordinator for complex projects. However, the Council expressed a different position when, for example, it proposed the rejection of the European coordinator and other important provisions which we had already endorsed. Instead of this, the Council only endorsed non-essential amendments laid out in Parliament's resolution, and while endorsing the creation of the Trans-European Network, the Council interprets it only as a simple combination of Member State networks and the coordination of European Union Member States' energy policy measures. I consider this wholly insufficient. The European Union energy market has more than 450 million consumers. This market is the second largest in the world. If the EU acted together, it would be able to defend and force others to respect its interests. Bearing in mind the recently arisen crisis involving Ukraine and Russia and the declarations made at Hampton Court, I stress that we undoubtedly need a common European energy policy. We need more than the 25 individual Member State policies. The creation of the European network in turn is only possible if we improve and expand the linking of networks.
On the subject of common interests and priority projects, I would like to remind Parliament of the gas transit pipeline project ‘Amber’ and to debate its inclusion on the project list of landmark priority projects of European importance. It should also be taken into account that the implementation of projects would improve the security of energy supplies for states in the Baltic region.
Eluned Morgan (PSE). – Mr President, the revised guidelines will extend the European Union’s current gas and electricity transmission networks to the new Member States, and I welcome that. We have already seen what happens when the internal market does not work, when it is not fully completed, when supplies are not secured. Europe’s main gas supplier, Russia, has shown that it is willing and able to turn off its gas supplies to its own political advantage. That leaves us extremely vulnerable, and I am glad to see that at last the European Union is taking the whole issue of energy seriously.
Gas prices around the world have soared, but there is no reason why gas prices in the United Kingdom need to be three times those of the Netherlands. We have been told in the United Kingdom that factories may have to close for the short term. The reason is that the high prices have caused a shortage of gas supply through gas pipelines, which is due to the lack of access to other European Union markets. Gordon Brown has said that the lack of liberalisation of European energy markets has cost the United Kingdom GBP 10 billion a year. How can United Kingdom companies be competitive in the face of that kind of inequity?
European Union leaders have recently backed the Green Paper suggestions on developing gas and electricity interconnections. That is all very well, but we should not avoid a debate on issues such as price fixing, national champions, the resurgent nationalism and Member States’ failure to implement European Union legislation.
On that note, I am encouraged by the announcement that the Commission will open 50 new cases tomorrow against European Union governments that have failed to implement European Union laws by failing to open up the EU’s energy market. That is great news, but may I ask the Commissioner why it has taken so long to take this action?
Danutė Budreikaitė (ALDE). – (LT) I welcome the discussion on the landmarks of the Trans-European Energy Networks – it was much anticipated and necessary. Three new EU countries, the Baltic states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, have until now remained outside the European energy system. The Trans-European Energy Networks must be a common interest of the entire Union, and must connect energy of Member States in the internal market and with eastern and southern neighbours. Without the creation of the Trans-European Network, as the most important priority in terms of EU energy security and economic competitiveness, the EU will remain on the periphery of the energy market. As a state which is dependent on Russian gas and oil and one which is reliant on nuclear power, Lithuania cannot also let itself become dependent on electricity supplies from Russia. We must begin to build the electric bridge between Lithuania and Poland and connect Estonia and Finland by electric cable at the earliest opportunity. The common Baltic electricity market would become a constituent part of the EU electricity market. I urge you to show solidarity and support for the incorporation of the Baltic energy networks into the EU.
Andris Piebalgs, Member of the Commission. Mr President, first of all I would like to thank you for this debate. Trans-European networks are an extremely important part, but they are just one part, of European energy policy as I see it.
One very important precondition is cooperation between Member States. I think the great news I have had over recent months is the cooperation in the energy sector between Baltic countries. Governments are looking for a common energy policy even if their markets are isolated; but that still clearly indicates that governments should look towards that policy. The European Council gave a lot of assurances, because the Heads of State and Government again came back to the interconnection issues – the 10% decision from Barcelona that was neglected – and called for a priority interconnection plan. In this respect trans-European energy networks actually provide the basis of an answer.
There have been critical remarks to the effect that networks could give rise to some types of speculation. That is why I am saying that regulation is as important as interconnection. Regulation is absolutely necessary for the market, and the Commission has been always rigorous in asking Member States to implement EU legislation. But there are two stages. First of all we must get each Member State to transpose the legislation. We have achieved that in 23 cases and 2 cases are before the European Court of Justice. So that is one stage. Then there is conformity. The new package addresses the conformity issue. Perhaps there will have to be new cases because the conformity issue does not arise only from Commission studies but is also raised by market participants when they find the directive has not been implemented correctly. So that is not the end of the story. It is clear, however, that networks and the good development of networks are absolutely necessary. Networks do not only mean interconnection, they also mean storage: it takes a long time to build gas storage, for example.
I know that the challenge is huge. There was some talk about avoiding duplication and I know that there are a couple of projects in the same area. Here I think governments should help by seeking a common approach and not building competing networks; instead they should look to the development of the best projects, which serve the interests of most of the Member States and the European Union.
Finally, in answer to the question as to what European energy policy means, it does not mean the sum of EU Member States’ policies. It is based on Member States’ policies, but it creates a new area of action for the European Union in a situation where globalisation in energy markets has given rise to new challenges, where the action of one Member State does not fully or adequately respond to the expectations of the citizens of that State, and where it is our duty to act at the scale of and within the scope of the European Union as a whole. Trans-European networks are definitely one of the instruments we can use.
I would like again to thank the rapporteur, Mrs Laperrouze, and all the shadow rapporteurs who have had the patience to negotiate with the Council and, at the appropriate moment, reached this overall compromise that I can accept.