By Claus Djørup, Fagpressebureauet, 13. June 2007
Lars Lilleholt, spokesman on energy for Venstre, Denmark's Liberal party and the main government party, is hoping to see energy and climate policy embedded in the EU treaty "at the first opportunity". With his statement, he supports a proposal from the Danish Energy Association to integrate energy in the new EU treaty.
- I agree with the Danish Energy Association that energy should be written into the EU treaty basis if it is changed in the future, Mr. Lilleholt told Claus Djørup of the Association of the Danish Specialized Press.
- As soon as the opportunity arises, Denmark should push to have energy embedded in the EU treaty. There is not much chance of it happening with the new treaty that the German chancellor is working on, but the role of energy in EU cooperation needs to be put on the European agenda in order for an appreciation that energy is a natural part of an EU treaty to develop, he said.
- Energy is definitely one of the areas that tie the EU together. It is an area where close and binding cooperation is essential, both to reaching the climate targets and to ensuring that the liberalised energy market will work. Embedding energy in the treaty will give it a much needed boost within the framework of EU cooperation and give the EU the tools needed to make the common energy policy work, Mr. Lilleholt pointed out.
- There is only so much that Denmark can do with regard to an ambitious climate policy and ambitious targets for switching to renewable energy, so for it to really make an impact it has to be coordinated through the EU. Furthermore, that would be the best guarantee against any country cutting corners and abusing climate and energy policy to create unfair competition, Mr. Lilleholt said.
A few days ago Camilla Rosenhagen, EU Manager at the Danish Energy Association, suggested a separate chapter on energy in the founding treaty. Failing that, she fears that it will be hard to pass new EU legislation setting up a genuine and efficient European energy market with effective competition.
- As energy is not covered by the current EU treaty, all new initiatives on energy must be based on rules governing other areas such as the environment or the single market, Camilla Rosenhagen said.
The EU Manager is well aware that energy is unlikely to be part of the revision of treaties that German chancellor Angela Merkel will present later this month.
- We realize that governments all over Europe are facing a dilemma on the question of a new treaty. The slimmer it is, the fewer political problems in the short term, but a slimmed-down treaty that does not deal with energy will leave us wide-open to a whole range of problems which really could threaten the EU's chances of meeting its strong ambitions on energy.