Jerzy Buzek: Single Energy Market will offer Europe independence from Russia

Jerzy Buzek
Source: WikiCommons

EU must form a single energy market, which will offer it security of supply and loosen its dependence on Russian energy exports – Jerzy Buzek, MEP and former President of the European Parliament, told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

Mr Buzek said that he expects that by the end of his mandate as an MEP, the EU will have a truly working energy market with all member states enjoying security of supply. This, he hopes, will result in cheaper energy thanks to the competition in an open market.

He also hopes for the development of environmental-friendly technologies, new technologies in renewables, energy efficiency, and nuclear safety, without, however, completely giving up the use of fossil fuels.

“We will still use fossil fuels,” Mr Buzek said, “as will China or India. But the goal to minimize emissions will remain, and I expect technological progress not for low-carbon economy, but for low-emission economy. And we should achieve a broad, comprehensive agreement at the [2015 United Nations] Climate Change Conference in Paris. That would be a great success.”

Mr Buzek also believes that the most difficult aspect of EU energy union is the question of joint purchasing, explaining: “The Single Energy Market will encourage member states to go forward, because it depends on them, on national governments. Research: we got more than €6 billion for research in the EU in the next few years, almost three times more compared to the last seven-year period. This is fantastic progress. But what is lacking is joint purchasing, and this is probably the most important goal of the energy Union. It will be very difficult to be achieved, but we should start.”

When queried about Europe’s energy dependence on Russia, Mr Buzek said that if  joint financing of technology and research, the energy single market, interconnectors and coordination of gas and electricity purchasing are achieved, they will automatically result in greater independence from Russian energy exports.

What could also help, according to Mr Buzek, is the completion of Europe’s TTIP negotiations [the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiated between the EU and the USA].

“We cannot imagine signing TTIP with the USA without opening the borders for energy” he explained. “It means shale gas from the USA should be available on our continent. Liquid natural gas, LNG terminals in the USA, in the EU, should work with great capacity and help bring down our energy prices, and especially the price of gas.”

“We should also develop our cooperation with Norway, Algeria, Qatar, other Arab countries. We should use a lot of possibilities to make ourselves more independent from Russia. Because this could be the most important sanction we could implement against Russia. And we know that in the existing situation, we should protest as strongly as possible against aggression in Europe, and fight for the integrity of Ukraine, for a free and democratic Ukraine.”

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