THE EUROPEAN Parliament approved the new composition of the European Commission that will be led by former Luxembourgian prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker. It will officially start its term November 1. Slovakia is represented by Maroš Šefčovič who will oversee the energy union.
Over the past four years Šefčovič served as European commissioner for inter-institutional relations and administration, and also held a vice presidential post. He was originally considered to oversee the transport and space agenda in the new EC. The situation changed after the Slovenian candidate for the post overseeing the energy union, Alenka Bratušek, failed at the so-called “grilling”. Subsequently, Šefčovič was proposed to the post, which will also secure him the position of EC vice president, while the agenda of transport and space will go to Slovenian’s Violeta Bulc.
Political scientists have been discussing the concept of an energy union for some time and since 2009 also the politicians gave it more attention. The term was used for the first time in 2010 at the meeting of then speaker of the EP Jerzy Buzek and then EC president Jacques Delors. The idea was restored this spring by designated President of the European Council Donald Tusk. Juncker, with the aim to get support from EU leaders and the EP, later identified it as one of the “crucial projects” that should be part of his programme for following five years, Šefčovič said, as reported by SITA.
“The task rests on how to transform it from the theoretical level to practical implementation,” Šefčovič told SITA.
Except for concepts prepared by Buzek, Delors and Tusk, Šefčovič based his plans on recently adopted European Energy Security Strategy and the results of the spring summit of the EU. He proposed five pillars on which the energy union should be based. One of them is the “strengthened [European] security, strengthened solidarity and strengthened trust” among the EU member states when negotiating the energy contracts.
Another pillar concerns the completion of the internal market which will allow the “free movement of energies” which is currently hindered by “the feeling of national sovereignty and many technical barriers”, as reported by SITA. He also wants to continue in reducing the energy needs of the EU, advocating the so-called decarbonisation in order to protect environment, and supporting relevant research.
Šefčovič plans to present specific measures next spring the latest, SITA wrote.
Except for the energy union, Šefčovič will also be responsible for coordinating the work of other commissioners, especially those responsible for fighting climate changes, energy, transport, internal market, industry, enterprise, environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, regional policy, agriculture, rural development, research, science and innovations.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
23. Oct 2014 at 10:00