Estonian MEP calls for external energy coordinator

  • 2007-07-18
  • From wire reports
BRUSSELS - Tunne Kelam, an Estonian member of the European Parliament, has told the EU it should appoint a coordinator for external energy policy.

Kelam made the proposal during a session of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, which was examining a report on the EU's common external energy policy by chairman of the committee, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski.

Kelam suggested a special representative of the EU should be created who in the future could serve as deputy to the EU's foreign policy chief in the coordination of common energy policy.

Fending off allegations from the Liberal group and a representative of the European Commission that the creation of such office would complicate the relationship between different institutions, Kelam said that these already complex relationships could only be coordinated by the special representative.

"Without a coordinator with concrete and political powers, problems will be left hanging in the domain of good intentions," said Kelam, an MEP from the European People's Party, part of the European Democrats group.

Kelam, who addressed the committee on behalf of the parliamentary group, said the main purpose of the report was to expand Europe's common foreign and security policy in the area of energy.

The document by the foreign affairs committee wants the European Council and the Commission to present concrete guidelines for shaping the EU's common external policy on energy by the end of this year.

The second key issue, according to Kelam, is political will on the part of EU member states and the Commission to ensure adherence by third parties 's including Russia - to the union's competition rules and the principle of equality on the energy market.

The full meeting of the European Parliament is due to take a decision regarding external policy on energy in the last week of September.

Kelam urged his colleagues in the foreign affairs committee to send a message as united and strong as possible that the creation of a common EU external energy policy must not be delayed.