Poland will push for joint EU energy purchases - PM
April 2, 2014
Polish PM Donald Tusk
The Polish government will launch a diplomatic offensive in Brussels, calling for a six-pillar energy union with joint energy purchases, possibly via a European commodity exchange, Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The first pillar of the proposed energy union - joint negotiations of energy contracts with a monopolist supplier, meaning Russia's Gazprom in the case of natural gas - should contribute to cheaper energy and Europe's resilience to political pressure, according to Tusk.
"The fact that Europe as a whole is not using these negotiation possibilities will have a negative effect on the competitiveness of European economy in the future," Tusk said.
Building leverage in energy purchases could be carried out by shifting those transactions to a commodity exchange, the PM said, admitting at the same time that joint purchases are the most controversial element of Poland's proposals.
The remaining pillars of the union include strengthening the mechanism of solidarity when being cut off from energy sources; EU co-financing of energy infrastructure at the maximum level of 75%; full use of mineable fuels - meaning green light for Poland to exploit its coal mines as guarantee of energy safety in eastern Europe; seeking external suppliers of gas such as the US; and strengthening the energy solidarity with EU neighbors, Tusk said.