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European Energy Policy with special emphasis on the European Energy Charta

European Energy Policy with special emphasis on the European Energy Charta

16 February 2006

The 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident was the occasion for the Böll Foundation to host an event on Ukrainian and European energy policy in the premises of the Deutsche Umwelthilfe in Berlin. The event offered an opportunity for energy experts to discuss recent and possible future developments in energy policy, especially nuclear energy. Dr. Camilla Bausch, Senior Fellow at Ecologic, gave a presentation on the European energy policy with special focus on the Energy Charter Treaty.

First, Tanya Murza, a nuclear policy expert from Ecoclub (Ukraine), discussed the energy policy challenges of Ukraine with a special emphasis on nuclear energy. This was followed by a speech by Camilla Bausch elaborating on the European situation.

Both, the media and politics have recently shown a growing interest in energy policy. Reasons for this can be seen in the oil price changes as well as concerns regarding climate change and energy security. In this context, many experts call for a strengthening of European energy policy. This approach, however, faces several obstacles. First, the situations in and approaches of the Member States differ greatly. Furthermore, due to the complexity of the issue it is always connected not only with economic but also with environmental and social questions which makes finding a common solution difficult. Last but not least, there is no clear competency on this issue for the European Union.

Nevertheless, over the last few years a European energy policy has been established. Camilla Bausch elaborated on actions forming the basis for this policy, in particular on legal acts, research and other funds, as well as policy papers like the Green Paper of the Commission towards a European strategy for the security of energy supply. Furthermore, the history and content of the Energy Charter Treaty were explained. The Treaty is to contribute i.a. to energy security, competitive markets and sustainable development. But as Russia is still not willing to ratify the Treaty, it has not had the impact which was hoped for. Finally, some visions for a future energy policy were presented and discussed.

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16 February 2006
Berlin, Germany
nuclear energy, energy policy, Chernobyl, Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Energy Charter Treaty, energy, climate