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The Warsaw Voice » Business » December 21, 2012
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Partnership for European Energy
December 21, 2012   
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Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP) is an association formed by a group of Polish companies from the energy and fuel sectors that aims to facilitate integration in the energy sector in Central Europe and strengthen the position of this sector in the European Union. The association was established on May 4, 2010 in Brussels. This is the first industry-specific organization from Central Europe that has a permanent representation to the European Union. At present, CEEP has 18 members—companies and research institutions from the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.

In a few months, Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP) will be celebrating three years in existence. This is a noteworthy anniversary. The organization, which was established to create a common platform for discussion and action on energy issues in this part of Europe, has become an important participant of the pan-European debate. Polish fuel group Grupa Lotos has played a major role in shaping the organization because it has initiated the creation of an association of businesses, universities and institutions to identify, discuss and solve energy problems.

A few years ago, at international conferences and business meetings, a multitude of views, needs and interests were visible in the energy sector in Central and Eastern Europe. In isolation, these voices stood little chance of being noticed by energy policymakers, let alone persuading them to take effective action. Each member of CEEP has its own interests, but if these interests are precisely dovetailed into the common framework of European needs, the odds of a desired conclusion will increase. Over the past three years or so CEEP has been sending a strong message to European Union officials, businesses leaders, universities and research institutes as well as government institutions—that of its readiness to contribute to building a secure, stable, reasonably planned and wisely managed energy sector in Europe, one capable of serving the needs of the whole continent.

Recently, CEEP welcomed Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG), one of the largest and oldest companies in Poland. It has an established position as a leader on the gas market. It explores and produces natural gas and crude oil. It also deals with storage and distribution of gaseous fuels. Grupa Lotos recently signed an agreement with PGNiG regarding mutual cooperation in hydrocarbon licenses development in Poland.

An overriding principle of CEEP that the association strictly adheres to is that its actions are not directed against anyone. The association makes continual attempts to rationalize the energy sector and find compromise solutions. Words such as reason and compromise are often used during CEEP conferences. If Europe is to have a safe and secure future in terms of energy, its energy policy must take into account the interests of all those concerned.

Such thinking is especially important when dealing with the goals set by the strategic document Energy Roadmap 2050. The presentation of this document and the related discussion featured a fundamental debate on the role of coal in the energy mix of several European countries. There is a strong tide in the EU in regard to cutting carbon dioxide emissions as far as possible. In several countries, coal-fired power plants are the main source of carbon dioxide emissions. Were it not for the presentation of a common view, individual companies and even the governments of the “coal-based” countries would find it difficult to make their vital interests part of the mainstream discussion about Europe’s future in terms of energy.

CEEP is open to all those for whom energy security is a fundamental issue for Europe. A Europe based on energy security will be capable of competing globally and guaranteeing prosperity and comfort for its residents. CEEP aims to make that happen.

Stanisław Mazur
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