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The Warsaw Voice » Business » May 28, 2013
Central Europe Energy Partners
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Energy Conference in Vilnius
May 28, 2013   
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The second “29+1” energy conference held in Vilnius, Lithuania, May 9-10, ended with the adoption of a document known as the Vilnius Memorandum.

The annual “29+1” conference was held by Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP). The conference aimed to give CEEP members an opportunity for direct, unofficial dialogue with EU officials including Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger. The conference was the second such event to date. The first “29+1” conference took place in Budapest, Hungary, last year.

The Vilnius Memorandum was handed to Oettinger and to Lithuania’s prime minister and energy minister. The document is an important part of work undertaken in the run-up to Lithuania’s presidency of the EU.

In the Vilnius Memorandum, Central European energy companies said they aimed to “support the formulation of effective policies (...) acceptable to all member states,” while “mitigat[ing] the risk of EU energy policy placing disproportionate burdens on member states.” The memorandum signatories also voiced their support for alternative technologies and energy sources but added that EU policies in this area should “better reflect prevailing conditions and the ability of each member state.”

In order to make sure that a united Europe “realizes its full potential without unduly placing certain member states at a competitive disadvantage,” the memorandum urged a number of energy policy priorities, including the energy security of the member states ensured by the use of indigenous fossil fuel sources such as coal and natural gas in combination with state-of-the-art technologies such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

The memorandum also urged “efficient promotion of the most economically and technically beneficial renewable energy sources like wind, solar and biogas;” “exploring the potential of nuclear power in accordance with the highest available safety standards;” and “initiatives to improve European cyber security in order to effectively manage emerging risks, increase infrastructure resilience and develop appropriate response solutions in light of rising global cyber threats to critical energy infrastructures.”

The memorandum highlighted the need to ensure affordable energy prices for both private and industrial consumers across the EU. Another top priority is the enhancement of the EU’s external energy, the memorandum said. This should be achieved through a more active role of the European Commission in negotiations with external energy partners; better coordination between individual member states in regards to the EU’s external energy policy; closer cooperation and deeper strategic energy partnerships between EU and non-EU states.

The Central Europe Energy Partners association was established on May 4, 2010 in Brussels. It has a permanent representation to the European Union and 19 members—companies and research institutions from the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.
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