Motion for a resolution - B7-0040/2009Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on external aspects of energy security


to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Elmar Brok, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Tunne Kelam, Traian Ungureanu, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Michael Gahler, Herbert Reul, András Gyürk, Mário David, Jean-Pierre Audy, Lena Barbara Kolarska-Bobińska, Bogusław Sonik, Inese Vaidere, on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0040/2009

Procedure : 2009/2532(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on external aspects of energy security

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its resolution of 26 September 2007, 'Towards a common European foreign policy on energy',

- having regard to the intergovernmental agreement between Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey on the Nabucco gas pipeline project, which was signed on 13 July 2009 in Ankara,

- having regard to the acquisition by the Russian oil and gas company Surgutneftegaz of a large minority share (21.2%) in the Hungarian petrochemical company MOL, a member of the Nabucco consortium,

- having regard to the protocol on cooperation in the gas sphere between Russia and Turkey, signed on 6 August 2009 in Ankara, under which Turkey gives preliminary consent to the building of the South Stream gas pipeline and authorises Russia to carry out survey work for the pipeline in Turkey's territorial waters,

- having regard to the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 13 July 2009 between 12 EU companies to establish a DESERTEC Industrial Initiative to exploit the vast potential for solar energy in the Middle East and north Africa,

- having regard to the Second Strategic Energy Review,

- 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 (COM(2009)363 final),

- having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council regulation concerning notification to the Commission of investment projects in energy infrastructure within the European Community and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 736/96(COM(2009)361 final),

–   having regard to Rule 110(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 and a key element for the pursuit of economic and social development in Europe, for which, however, there is still no basis under the Treaties,

B.        whereas the EU's dependence on energy imports is significant at present and, as things stand, is projected to increase,

C.       whereas, despite the drop in oil and gas prices as a result of the global financial crisis, the slow progress in switching to more sustainable fuels, the declining output from the world's oil and gas fields and the continuing growth in demand will inevitably mean a return to tighter fossil fuel markets and increasing import dependence for oil-consuming countries once the crisis is over,

D.       whereas several Member States are highly dependent on a single supplier of natural gas, and whereas unwarranted disruption to supplies can cause severe problems, as demonstrated during the last Russia-Ukraine gas crisis at the beginning of 2009,

E.        whereas a number of Member States do not possess sufficient natural reserves to cope with crisis situations,

F.        whereas, owing to existing and increasing energy-supply dependence on politically unstable regions, efforts to ensure security of supply exclusively at national level have proved to be insufficient and do not safeguard the long-term interests of all EU Member States,

G.       whereas the existing early-warning instruments proved inadequate to predict the gas crisis of January 2009,

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

I.         whereas close cooperation in the field of energy supply constitutes one of the most effective and indispensable confidence-building measures in relations between the European Union and neighbouring countries,

J.         whereas, although some steps have already been taken, there is a need to create a truly common energy policy with regard to both internal market regulation and external aspects that takes account of the political and economic interests of all Member States,

K.       whereas a common external energy policy, based on solidarity, diversification, unity in defending common interests and strengthened cooperation with the major energy-producing, transit and consumer countries, would create synergies 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,

1.  Looks to the Commission and the Member States to display stronger strategic leadership in establishing a genuine common European foreign policy on energy, as called for in its resolution of 26 September 2007, 'Towards a common European foreign policy on energy';

2.  Welcomes the measures on diversification and improving the EU's energy security proposed by the Commission in the Second Strategic Energy Review; considers, however, that clearly defined priorities and speedy action to implement them are needed, whilst keeping Parliament fully informed;

3.        Reiterates that a properly functioning internal energy market is of vital importance in preventing future gas-supply disruption and crises, as is the diversification of energy sources; underlines, therefore, the need for more investment in renewable and low-carbon energy and energy efficiency, which should be a central part of the Energy Action Plan for 2010-2014;

4.        Welcomes the new proposals for regulations on measures to safeguard security of gas supply and on investment projects in energy infrastructure within the European Community, which will contribute to greater security of gas supply in the European Union by ensuring that Member States take preventive action and improve crisis-management mechanisms and by increasing transparency and reducing red tape;

5.        Underlines the urgent need to implement strategic projects aimed at the diversification of energy supplies, especially in the Southern Corridor; congratulates, in this context, the governments of Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey on the 13 July 2009 signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the legal framework for the Nabucco pipeline project, which constitutes an important step towards realising this project, but underlines, at the same time, the importance of general rules governing the development of the corridor to link the EU to new sources of gas from the Middle East and the Caspian region, independent of any one company or pipeline and aimed primarily at the speedy realisation of this link; urges the companies and the Member States involved in close cooperation with the Commission to secure initial agreements with prospective suppliers to feed the pipelines;

6.        Calls on the Commission to provide political, legal and financial assistance to companies which are either involved in or are seeking involvement in the realisation of strategic projects and to take a lead in standardising agreements that underpin pipeline development;

7.        Regards the improvement of interconnections within Europe as essential, since filling the existing gaps is vital to the efficient functioning of the internal market and energy solidarity; welcomes, in this regard, the agreement on the financing of infrastructure projects as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan, but insists that a general increase in public financing in the field of energy security is indispensable;

8.        Calls on the Member States to inform each other and the Commission about strategic decisions and agreements concerning energy infrastructure projects; notes that the recent agreement on the third liberalisation package kept the procedure on exemptions for new infrastructure in force and sets the legal framework for certification as a Transmission System Operator vis-à-vis third countries;

9.        Calls on the Commission to take immediate action against hostile takeover moves by non-transparent foreign entities in the EU's energy market and to apply strictly the EU rules on competition; is alarmed by Surgutneftgaz's recent acquisition of a stake in the Hungarian energy company MOL and its inability to disclose its ownership structure and the identity of its ultimate beneficiary owners, as legitimately requested by the Hungarian energy market regulator;

10.      Calls on the Council and Commission to cooperate with the countries of the Mediterranean region and north Africa, in view of their significant energy-resource potential and the substantial opportunities which could be created for their own development; encourages, in particular, the use of solar and wind energy in these regions; welcomes the recent progress made with the DESERTEC Industrial Initiative to develop the vast potential for solar energy in the Middle East and north Africa;

11.      Emphasises the strategic importance of the Arctic region for the EU in terms of energy resources, the environment and transport issues; given the growing accessibility of resources owing to the effects of climate change, underlines the need to develop a comprehensive strategy for cooperation in the High North; is therefore convinced that in order to safeguard its long-term interests the EU should get its partners in the region, such as Norway and Iceland, actively involved in such a strategy; calls for fresh consideration to be given to a pragmatic long-term EU policy involving other stakeholders, such as Russia, the United States and Canada, on energy security, transport and the environment, in order to avoid potential conflict in this sensitive region;

12.      Emphasises that progress in developing 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 policy; calls for the speedy ratification of 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;

13.                 Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.