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Europe D66 European Parliament Economy Climate

Energy liberalisation, but with a green dimension

   Thu 14/02/2002

D66 demands that energy liberalisation in the EU goes hand in hand with environmental measures and consumer protection. Lousewies van der Laan insisted on the green dimension as the European Parliament debates a controversial law on energy liberalisation in the EU.

A controversial European Parliament draft report on energy liberalisation in the EU, debated today in Brussels, has demanded that measures to encourage the increased use of renewable energy and energy efficiency form a central part of any new energy liberalisation package.

Energy liberalisation is viewed as an essential part of the EU’s so-called ‘Lisbon’ agenda, which seeks to modernise and liberalise the EU economy so it can compete more effectively on the world stage. A European Commission draft directive proposes full energy market liberalisation by 2005. The European Parliament’s draft report, debated today, has been drawn up in response to the Commission’s proposals.

Lousewies van der Laan, leader of the Dutch Democrats in the European Parliament said:

“Liberalisation will mean an end to market dominance by a handful of large energy companies who between them currently control over 50% of the European Union energy market. D66 fully supports measures to ensure that market liberalisation goes hand in hand with appropriate measures to promote environmental sustainability and consumer choice.”

However, it is unlikely that Member states will agree to the European Parliament’s demands, which also include a controversial measure to force energy providers to guarantee consumer information.

“If Member states will not agree to our report, the Parliament must focus on getting a formal commitment from the European Commission that it will come up with concrete proposals to address the environmental and consumer implications of energy liberalisation.” commented Van der Laan.