EU's energy union 'not fit for purpose'

"The reason behind energy union, like every other plan from the commission, is a policy power-grab"

EU's energy union 'not fit for purpose'

The energy union is an attempt by the European commission to use tensions between Russia and the EU - caused by the EU's attempt to extend its empire to Russia's border - as an excuse to take control of the energy supplies and regulatory powers of member states. The commission wants EU national governments to pool their energy resources, and to be placed in charge of that pool with controls over regulation and investment decisions as well as energy deals with countries outside the 28 member states. As the paper setting out plans for the energy union put it, “Today, the European Union has energy rules set at the European level, but in practice it has 28 national regulatory frameworks. This cannot continue.”

Of course it can continue, and the democratically-elected member state governments have shown every sign of wanting this system to continue.

The commission merely shows by this plan that they will ignore this democratic opinion and instead push for powers to be turned over to unelected eurocrats. That's the way the commission operates. First it identifies 'a problem' and then it announces that the solution is 'more Europe'.

We are supposed to believe that energy union will end Europe's dependence on what are called in Brussels circles "unreliable suppliers," a euphemism for Russia and its president Vladimir Putin.

Yet, as one human rights organisation has already pointed out, the commission's plan is to reduce dependence on unreliable Russia and its leader - and replace them with dependence on unreliable Turkey, Algeria, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan (and ultimately Iran and Iraq) and their thuggish leaders.

So Putin is an excuse, not a reason. The reason behind energy union, like every other plan from the commission, is a policy power-grab. The last thing the crippled economies of the Eurozone need are more energy policies from Brussels.

The existing policies have already led to disaster. They have undermined the economies of the member states, pushed up energy prices and destroyed industries, jobs and investment. They have led to gross over-investment in uneconomic, expensive and intermittent renewable energy projects.

Yet the commission views the sclerotic economies of the member states and announces that it wants to see €1 trillion invested in the energy sector in the EU within the next five years. No private investors are going to pump €1 trillion into renewables - not unless the EU bribes them with vast subsidies taken from taxpayers' money and loaded onto taxpayers' electricity and gas bills.

Meanwhile India and China have been enjoying robust economic growth while building two coal-fired power stations per week and American industry and employment have been benefiting from low cost energy produced by shale gas.

EU policy has forced the closure of low-cost coal-fired power stations. Since 2007 the European aluminium smelting industry has closed 11 smelters out of 24. Steel industry production fell by 20 per cent and seventy petroleum refineries have been shut down in the last seven years with the loss of thousands of jobs. We are destroying our economies.

EU energy policies are pushing us back to the cold, inefficient and impoverished dark ages.


David Coburn

MEP involved

David Coburn