EU energy policy encounters difficulties

February 8, 2006

The European Union's efforts to boost European energy security are reportedly conflicting with some EU member states' national security interests.

The revelation was contained in a European Commission paper leaked to German and Polish media Wednesday, the EU Observer reported.

"Energy using countries are starting to see each other as potential rivals for (energy) provision ... just at a time when Europe imports more energy than ever before. This trend will further accelerate substantially," the report said, FT Deutschland reported.

The draft paper discussed by the 25 EU commissioners will form the basis of a March 8 green paper on future EU energy policy.

"The choice for an energy mix is a national decision and it should remain so," the leaked report said. Regarding nuclear energy, it said, "The (EU) cannot infringe the sovereign right of member states to decide for themselves in this area."

The report also listed a series of practical steps that could boost EU energy security; common rules on minimum gas reserves; coordination of energy transit networks for better crisis management; and the presentation of an annual energy report by member states to the commission, the Observer reported.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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