Polish PM discusses his idea of Europe-wide energy union with Barroso
May 12, 2014
President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso and Polish PM Donald Tusk
The Ukrainian crisis and the Polish project of the energy union were the main topics of the talks between the Polish PM Donald Tusk and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, who visited Poland on May 9-10, Polish PM’s press office said.
In the light of the growing uncertainty over Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Poland's prime minister proposed, in early April, creating a Europe-wide energy union, that would reduce Moscow's dominance over European energy markets and announced a diplomatic offensive in Brussels on this matter.
In an article published in Financial Times on April 21 Tusk called for setting up of an EU institution to negotiate energy contracts with Russia. “Europe should confront Russia's monopolistic position with a single European body charged with buying its gas,” he wrote.
He also said that EU member states should also work more closely together on energy infrastructure to guarantee the security of supplies and look to better exploit fossil-fuel resources.
During his meeting with Barroso on May 9 Tusk reiterated the six pillars that the proposed energy union should be based on.
Apart from joint negotiations of energy contracts with a monopolist supplier, building leverage in energy purchases could be carried out by shifting those transactions to a commodity exchange, according to Tusk.
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.
In recent weeks Polish PM has met with a number of EU leaders to promote his idea of the energy union including German Chancellor
Angela Merkel, President of European Council Herman Van Rompuy, French President Francoise Hollande and Italian PM Matteo Renzi.
The European Commission is currently working on the first recommendations as concerns increasing EU’s energy security.
The EU summit to be held in June will be devoted to this subject, Polish PM’s press office said.