Procedure : 2006/2556(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0279/2006

Texts tabled :

B6-0279/2006

Debates :

PV 17/05/2006 - 13
CRE 17/05/2006 - 13

Votes :

PV 18/05/2006 - 5.11
CRE 18/05/2006 - 5.11

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2006)0225

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
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11 May 2006
PE 373.308v01-00
 
B6‑0279/2006
further to Questions for Oral Answer B6‑0020/2006 and B6-0206/2006
pursuant to Rule 108(5) of the Rules of Procedure
by Giles Chichester
on behalf of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
on the conclusion by the European Community of the Energy Community Treaty

European Parliament resolution on the conclusion by the European Community of the Energy Community Treaty 
B6‑0279/2006

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal on the conclusion by the European Community of the Energy Community Treaty (13886/1/2005, COM (2005)0435 final, 14 September 2005),

–  having regard to the Council's text concerning a Council Decision on the conclusion by the European Community of the Energy Community Treaty (C6-0435/2005 - 2005/0178 (AVC)),

–  having regard to the legal basis chosen for the conclusion of the Energy Community Treaty, which effectively limits the role of the European Parliament to giving its assent or withholding its assent to the conclusion of the Treaty, without effective participation by the European Parliament in the decision-making procedure,

–  having regard to its legislative resolution of 17 May 2006 giving its assent to the conclusion of the Treaty,

–  having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

1.  Notes that the EC, by means of the conclusion of this Energy Community Treaty (ECT), in a sense creates a precedent by extending the 'acquis communautaire' of the EC internal market in the field of electricity and gas to the nine contracting parties to the ECT;

2.  Demands an unequivocal commitment by the ECT signatories to respect and implement the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights;

3.  Notes also that, of the nine contracting parties to the Treaty, three are candidate countries (Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia), one has applied for membership (FYROM), four are potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro) and one is under UN Interim Administration (Kosovo);

4.  Points to the fact that whereas in the case of the EC internal market, additional measures conceived as instruments to support the internal market or considered necessary in order to mitigate any negative effects have been adopted, in the case of the ECT, the Council Decision foresees none and that this could lead to serious distortions of competition with EU players by undermining the standards applied in the EU internal market; notes that, therefore, matters relating to employment, social impact and restructuring, working conditions, equality, health and safety, information and consultation and social dialogue will be treated in a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), whose legal status is not specified; demands that the MoU should be signed by the Commission, Council and governments concerned and should be developed to become a legally binding instrument;

5.  Supports the participation of representatives of the social partners from the ECT signatory countries in the European sectoral social dialogue committees where established, which the Commission is to enable;

6.  Seeks clarification by the Council and the Commission of the inclusion of provisions and programmes to increase energy efficiency, prioritise the demand side, replace energy infrastructure and support renewable energy, notably to reduce widespread energy poverty, energy/hydrocarbon import dependence and the harmful environmental impact of energy production, transport and use; in particular, seeks clarification of the effective implementation by the ECT participants of the acquis regarding energy efficiency, gaseous, liquid and solid pollutant emissions and climate change as matters of the utmost importance to avoid distortion of competition with EU players;

7.  Calls for caution to be exercised in the privatisation of utilities and replacing public monopolies with private ones when not all rules and regulations are in place to ensure public service obligations, reasonable prices and democratic control;

8.  Calls upon the Commission, prior to their adoption by the Council or Commission, to submit to the EP for information all the complementary documents considered by the Commission or the Council to be integral to the internal market in connection with the ECT;

9.  Is concerned about changes made by the Council in the text relating to the Council Decision on the conclusion of the Energy Community Treaty, which transform the obligatory consultation with the European Parliament - as proposed in the Commission proposal - into an 'information exercise', as stipulated in Article 5 of the Council Decision;

10.  Demands that representatives of its ITRE Committee, together with parliamentary representatives of the countries concerned, be informed and consulted on decisions of the Commission and Ministerial Council and that this group should have the power to amend proposals; notes that a procedure to this end needs to be discussed between the EP, Commission and Council;

11.  Considers it desirable that the legal provision of mutual assistance to the contracting parties in the event of serious disruptions of energy supply may be extended to other neighbouring countries 'in the event of special circumstances'; calls upon the Council and the Commission, nonetheless, to clarify the 'special circumstances' in a separate implementing measure that should be forwarded to Parliament for its opinion;

12.  Seeks clarification by the Council and the Commission of the effective contribution of the ECT to support for energy reforms in contracting parties, as Western Balkan countries appear to be at an earlier reform stage; notes that, in particular, they need to establish their energy policies and institutions to develop sound and comprehensive energy reforms on both the demand and the supply side of the energy market, in addition to the rule of law;

13.  Seeks clarification by the Council and the Commission of the role and functions of the various institutions created by the ECT, including the Energy Community Secretariat (ECS) and the Regulatory Board;

14.  Seeks clarification by the Council and the Commission of measures taken by donors, Member States and the ECT countries to ensure market transparency, in particular regarding the development of offshore energy traders in the ECT with dominant market positions, and their extension to EU energy markets;

15.  Seeks clarification by the Council and the Commission of the criteria to be fulfilled by a neighbouring third country in order to be accepted by the Ministerial Council as an Observer or as a Participant;

16.  Calls for Parliament to be informed and consulted prior to any future extension of the ECT to other energy sources or sectors;

17.  Calls upon the Commission to report in writing to Parliament at least once per year on the achievements of and problems faced by the contracting parties in the implementation of the ECT; considers that this report should include at least the following elements:

   -state of affairs with regard to implementing the relevant energy, social (MoU) and environmental acquis;
   -overview of the work of the regulatory authorities, their resources and procedures for consulting relevant stakeholders;
   -level of market concentration, affordability and investment in new capacity and networks;
   -overview of opinions of relevant stakeholders, particularly social partners, consumer and environmental organisations and municipalities;

18.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission and to the governments and parliaments of the contracting parties to the ECT.

Last updated: 12 May 2006Legal notice