Rafał Trzaskowski: “We have changed the way of thinking about energy in the EU”

Rafał Trzaskowski: “We have changed the way of thinking about energy in the EU”

For Poland, is the Energy Union Package a success? It is a success, no doubt about that! We have managed to change the way of thinking about energy security in the European Union. I believe there is no way back to the situation where energy was being treated purely from the perspective of national interests, away from climate and economic challenges. We did succeed in placing energy on the right track , where the EU’s common, strategic, geopolitical goals matter more than regional aspirations and where external energy suppliers cannot play us against each other, in line with a ‘divide and rule’ strategy. . This long-term change in the EU’s philosophy is as important as practical legislative proposals. Almost all the solutions from the original proposal by Donald Tusk, the then Prime Minister of Poland, are now in the Energy Union Package. All agreements, commercial ones too, will have to be transparent, which means: fully compliant with EU law and EU energy security provisions, without prejudice to the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information. That is a Copernican shift to what we have at the moment. The Commission will be finally able to verify whether EU laws and energy policies are being obeyed. It is very important that it also concerns the EU’s policies, as some contracts do not explicitly break the EU laws, but go against the philosophy of the single market. Also, collective purchasing will be possible, in line with EU competition law and WTO rules, although it will not be compulsory. Is Poland planning to build an inter-governmental platform for such collective purchasing of gas? [Tweet "So [...]
We Must Unshackle European Industry

We Must Unshackle European Industry

The idea behind the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being negotiated between the European Union and the United States is that both sides should benefit. Yet, for this to happen we need not only tough negotiations with the Americans, but also a change in thinking about EU regulations that block or hamper the competitiveness of European companies. Many myths have gathered around the TTIP, which aims to create a free trade area between the European Union and the United States. Some see this agreement as a remedy for Europe’s economic woes, whilst others are skeptical. The pace of economic recovery on the Old Continent is still slow and the effects of the crisis—including high unemployment, a record level of debt, and slow GDP growth - remain strongly felt. Establishing what would be the world’s largest free trade area could change all this by fostering economic growth and creating new jobs. Level playing field on a single market It is almost certain that new jobs will be created due to the TTIP. This is evidenced by most big agreements that have laid the foundations for free trade areas in the past. History shows, that, depending on various factors, new jobs can be created either fairly evenly for all interested parties (such was the case with the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union) or for one party at the expense of another (as exemplified by what happened in the United States and Mexico after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA). Which scenario will prevail in this case? This is difficult to predict, [...]
CEEP’s Position on TTIP Explained in the ITRE’s Public Hearing

CEEP’s Position on TTIP Explained in the ITRE’s Public Hearing

The EP’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the Committee on International Trade (INTA) organised a public hearing with experts on the “Impact of TTIP on ITRE policy areas” on the 24th of February. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEEP, Paweł Olechnowicz, presented CEEP’s position on the matter. Here below, his intervention. Understanding TTIP: We understand that the TTIP represents a major boost for the EU in the competitive world. Nowadays, we are conceding ground to such external competitors as China and India, as well as other emerging economies. We also observe the rapid development of the United States’ economy, not only due to the shale revolution, but also due to an innovative and dynamic approach to economic solutions. Should we join our efforts, talents, and knowledge to push our economies ahead and make them more resilient to other economies? CEEP’s answer is clear: we support the concept of the TTIP as enabling more investments and securing more new employment opportunities. Differences between economic sectors in the EU: Creation of a free trade zone with the US is very tempting, and the TTIP is supported by many sectors, as, for example, the EU’s automotive industry, whilst there is a lot of debate within the food industry, and a somewhat divided approach from the chemical industry. I am very optimistic that the parties will reach positive solutions, but we in the EU, should realise that problems connected with the TTIP need to be categorised into two parts. One concerns EU/US relations; the other relates to internal matters for the EU itself. What are our needs? [...]

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