Theresa Griffin presents the S&D position on Energy Union

Theresa Griffin, Labour MEP for the North West of England today presented the Socialists and Democrats’ (S&D) position on the energy union with Kathleen Van Brempt MEP the S&D Group Vice-President responsible for sustainable development.

The European Commission will introduce its strategy on an energy union for the EU tomorrow, which will be a good indication of the Commission’s ambition and commitment.

Ahead of the Commission’s proposal, the S&D group has established a strong position and defined eight key elements of a new energy union.

They assert that the energy union should have sustainable progress at its number one priority and be based on a clear political commitment to prioritise renewable energies and energy efficiency, and that it should also be sustained by an infrastructure union, encompassing a massive investment programme to modernise and upgrade energy networks across Europe.

Theresa Griffin said:

“People need to be at the centre stage of the energy union. It is crucial that actions are taken to tackle fuel poverty, increase transparency on energy bills and strengthen consumer’s rights. Particular attention also needs to be paid to the impact on employment of any move from one energy type to another.”

The S&D group believes that the energy union should protect industries and EU competitiveness in this energy transition. The Commission should further examine how to create a level playing field between European and non-European producers.

Speaking from Brussels, Theresa Griffin added:

“To tackle the chronic under-investment in the energy sector, Europe needs a new public and private investment strategy with increased support for energy-related research and development being key to this and vital to reinforce the EU’s technological leadership with the rest of the world.

“The energy union must link together energy and external policy so that Europe can effectively speak with one voice; given that there is increasing cross-border interdependence between national energy choices and strategies, solidarity must be a key principle.

“The European Commission will hopefully take into account those priorities and use them to design its action plan on energy union.

“Governance of the energy union will also be playing a key part to ensure that the European targets are really achieved. Governance will need to be strong, resilient and democratic.”