EPSU POSITION on the EU Green Paper: A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy


Adopted by the EPSU Standing Committee on Public Utilities, 27 September 2006 and by the EPSU Executive Committee, 20 & 21 November 2006

EU Green Paper: A European Strategy for Sustainable,
Competitive and Secure Energy
COM (2006) 105 final 8 March 2006


The European Commission published a Green Paper, A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy (8 March 2006)

The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Green paper. The consultation has limited value when the Council already expresses itself and endorses key provisions.

Our members understand the importance of security of energy supply and sustainability and the need for clean, carbon-free energy technologies for the whole of the EU economy.

Our members are less convinced by the enthusiasm for a competitive, liberalised EU energy market, experience of which so far shows an adverse effect on employment, as well as on prices and security. EPSU promotes the development of a Europe for Citizens, based on solidarity, equality and sustainable social, economic and environmental development. We support a European Strategy for Security of Energy that encompasses all these elements.

EPSU welcomes the discussion on a European Energy Policy. Member States should consider what additional competencies the EU might need for it to play a role in forums such as G8, IEA (International Energy Agency), OPEC etc. Such a discussion should also define what the competencies of the EU are and what those of the Member States. These are related to deciding on the fuel mix, the organisation of the energy provision and services, and network access issues. A key issue is whether effective democratic control can be exercised allowing citizens to influence decisions.

The complete lack of a social dimension is disappointing. The Strategic Energy Review should include a social dimension establishing trade union and workers' rights, focusing on quality and training. Europe's energy policy should contribute to a safe workplace and enable participation in the development of a strategy for secure and sustainable energy supply.

EPSU is disappointed that the Green Paper fails to recognise the provision of electricity and gas as key public services.

The results of the debate should be widely publicised and where there is deep opposition to proposals in the Green Paper the Commission must be prepared to review its position. One such area that need critical review is the Internal Market for Electricity and Gas. It is not be the corner stone of a coherent policy that puts solidarity, democratic control, equality and sustainable social, economic and environmental development first.

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