Statement by Neoklis Sylikiotis on the creation of an Energy Union
“Our political group, the GUE/NGL, will oppose the creation of an Energy Union that will serve private interests and enhance inequalities and exclusions. We choose a different path of real growth, where Energy is a public social good, where there is enhanced state control, public infrastructures and international partnerships, based on mutual benefit, equality and solidarity, and not on private interests that exacerbate conflicts between countries and peoples.
An Energy Union for the benefit of the people must:
• Have as a primary objective to combat energy poverty.
• It must put at its centre, citizens, consumers, local communities and SMEs.
It is therefore important to ensure equal access for all to cheap, affordable energy and to promote connections and energy infrastructures that have a strategic role for the benefit of the people.
• An Energy Union for the benefit of the people must also promote specific measures to lift the isolation of states and regions through energy networks, an objective which was set many years ago with, 2015 as a deadline, but it is evident that this will not be implemented.
• It must successfully address the problems faced by many states in energy supply.
• It must promote measures and set specific targets for the development and support of renewable energy in practice.
• It must achieve the diversification of energy sources, including use of LNG and the Southern Gas Corridor, by serving the needs of the people and not the interests of multinationals. To achieve this goal it is important to realize and take advantage of the possibilities created by the energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
The EU should promote initiatives for cooperation in the sector of Energy between the countries of the eastern Mediterranean, thus contributing to peace and the economic prosperity of the peoples of the region.
• Apart from all these, we must underline that Energy security for the benefit of the people must go hand in hand with an end to neoliberal policies.