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Why GUE/NGL MEPs voted against report on European Energy Union

Today GUE/NGL MEPs in the European Parliament's ITRE Committee voted against an important report on the European Energy Union due to its proposals on nuclear energy, TTIP and serving the interests of the private sector.

The draft report, titled 'Towards a European Energy Union' (2015/2113(INI) / ITRE/8/03374), was voted on by the ITRE Committee today and represents an important step towards the development of the European Energy Union.  

Cypriot MEP, Neoklis Sylikiotis, explained: “Unfortunately the report moves in the same direction as neoliberal policies in the energy sector. The elements of the report that we opposed include the fact that it underlines the importance of nuclear energy and its call on the European Commission to include a separate energy chapter in the TTIP agreement.”

“In addition, the report considers that all the member states must speak with one voice to third countries on the subject of the Energy Union and proposes that the European Commission should participate in the negotiations for such intergovernmental agreements on behalf of the member states. The report also serves private interests, enhances inequalities and limits the sovereignty of member states. We believe that it should be the role of the member states, not the Commission, to negotiate the terms of the Energy Union.”

GUE/NGL MEPs did, however, achieve amendments including references to the need to tackle the problem of energy poverty and develop concrete measures making energy affordable for those in need.

Further, they achieved the inclusion of a reference to the need to promote measures to end the isolation of member states and regions from the internal energy market of the EU; to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions; and to achieve climate and energy targets.

Despite the amendments, GUE/NGL MEPs voted against the report on the basis of the negative references to nuclear energy, TTIP and the private sector.

Sylikiotis concluded: “By contrast, the GUE/NGL group proposes a different pathway towards real economic growth, in which energy is a public social good to which everyone has equal access. The group proposes enhanced state control of the sector, public energy infrastructure for the benefit of the people and international partnerships based on solidarity.”

GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20