Motion for a resolution - B7-0043/2009Motion for a resolution
B7-0043/2009

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on external energy security

14.9.2009

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

Teresa Riera Madurell, Kristian Vigenin on behalf of the S&D Group

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

Procedure : 2009/2532(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
B7-0043/2009

B7‑0043/2009

European Parliament resolution on external energy security

The European Parliament,

- having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic 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)0744),

- having regard to the Green Paper on Towards a Secure, Sustainable and Competitive European Energy Network, along with an accompanying document: Oil Infrastructures: An assessment of the existing and planed oil infrastructures within and towards the EU (COM(2008)0737),

- having regard to its resolution of 26 September 2007, '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 first meeting of the EU Network of Energy Security Correspondents (NESCO), held on 10 May 2007 in Brussels,

- 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 the European Council 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 13 July 2009 on the legal framework for the Nabucco gas pipeline,

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

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council of 19-20 March 2009,

–   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, for which, however, there is still no basis under the Treaties,

B.  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,

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, declining output from the world's oil and gas fields, in spite of the discovery of new reserves, and the continuing growth in demand will inevitably mean a return to tighter fossil fuel markets and increasing import dependence for consuming countries, once the crisis is over,

D.  whereas several Member States are highly dependent on a single supplier of natural gas and unwarranted disruption to supplies can cause severe problems, as demonstrated during the 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 crises,

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

G.  whereas predictable threats to 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 (ECT) and the Transit Protocol,

H.  whereas a common external energy policy, based on solidarity, diversification, unity in defending common interests, strengthened cooperation with the major energy- producing, transit and consumer countries and the promotion of sustainability, would create synergies which would help to ensure 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 strategic leadership in establishing a 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.  Reiterates that reducing the EU's energy dependence on third countries through the maximum use of indigenous energy sources - in particular renewable energy resources, which are the most important potential sources of energy available to the European Union - as well as improving energy efficiency by 20% by 2020 by making it a legally binding target, is of crucial importance for the EU's energy security;

3.  Welcomes the measures towards 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;

4.  Welcomes the recent adoption by the Commission of its proposal for a regulation concerning measures to safeguard security of gas supply (COM(2009)363);

5.  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;

6.  Underlines the importance of a coordinated European energy security system which incorporates Nabucco and other projects under discussion or agreed on by EU Member States, such as Nordstream, ITGI, Medgaz and South Stream; whilst welcoming the progress made with Nabucco, underlines 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;

7.  Calls on the EU to cooperate with the countries of the Mediterranean region and of north Africa, in particular in view of their significant energy-resource potential and the substantial opportunities for the development of Africa; in particular, the use of solar and wind energy should be researched and encouraged through the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean; stresses that the EU approach to the DESERTEC project must be coherent and make an active contribution to the development of north African and Middle East countries; therefore calls on companies and the Member States involved in this project - in close cooperation with the Commission - to promote development by means of genuine technology transfer and capacity-building aimed at local companies and civil society in order to ensure ownership and build a lasting partnership with the Mediterranean countries in which DESERTEC will be developed;

8.  Encourages the Member States to increase their natural-gas reserves with fast-release capacities, including liquefied natural gas (LNG);

9.  Calls on the EU to cooperate with the countries in the North Sea region in view of their significant potential as energy sources, in particular through production of offshore wind energy;

10.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop an appropriate ‘solidarity clause’, including conditions and procedures for intervention in emergencies caused by the disruption of energy supplies in other Member States, in accordance with the Lisbon Treaty;

11.  Calls on the Commission to draw up a directive on the storage of minimum gas reserves; notes that establishing minimum gas stocks requires effective coordination, planning and investment by Member States; whilst the benefits of minimum gas stocks (security of supply) clearly outweigh the related costs for most Member States, due attention should be paid to the fact that stockpiling natural gas is expensive; therefore calls for appropriate financial assistance for those Member States planning to increase their natural gas storage capacities;

12.  Welcomes the Commission proposal to establish a common framework for the notification to the Commission of data and information on investment projects in energy infrastructures (COM(2009)0361);

13.  Commends the Commission for its work on stepping up energy dialogues, which has resulted, in particular, in a number of memoranda of understanding with the EU's eastern neighbours and Central Asian countries, and looks forward to more progress with southern partners;

14.  Stresses that energy dialogues should in no way take place at the expense of frank and results-oriented dialogues on human rights;

15.  Calls on the Commission to urgently review existing early-warning mechanisms, the Network of Energy Security Correspondents (NESCO) and other instruments that proved ineffective in the face of the 2009 Russia-Ukraine energy crisis;

16.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to promote the ECT and calls on the EU's partners who are signatories to the ECT and the Transit Protocol thereto to abide by its rules and principles;

17.  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;

18.  Calls on the Commission to take immediate action against hostile takeover moves by non-transparent foreign entities on the EU energy market; is alarmed by Surgutneftegaz'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; calls on the Commission to investigate the activities of non-transparent foreign entities such as CENTREX, which recently took a 20% stake in Austria’s Baumgarten trading and storage facility;

19.  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; endorses 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;

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