(30 January 2013) The Energy Community issued a consultation paper following the Social Forum in October last year. The consultation paper request comments of the social partners and governments. For EPSU a number of issues are important:
- The Memorandum of Understanding on the Social issues is to remain the backbone of the Social energy strategy. The binding character should be strengthened and more resources devoted to its implementation.
- The democratic control over the regional energy strategy and the projects of common interests should be strengthened. The criteria for selection should include environmental and social ones.
- The regional energy strategy and government policy should be to seek the essential infrastructure for the electricity and gas industry in public hands
- Elements of the regional social strategy are:
a. Protection of users and developing an anti-poverty strategy. Regulated prices are the best protection for small and domestic users in what will be a fluctuating market. The regulators should control this and have a role for the trade unions to advise.
b. Regional labour market and social dialogue;
c. Criteria and Consultation on the Projects of Energy Community Interests. Transparency, social and environmental obligations, oversight of selection and implementation involving representatives of civil society.
- The Social dialogue in the region can be strengthened.