High-level stakeholder Conference on the future of energy policy

(Brussels, 1 October 2010) The European Commission presented the different views on the new European energy policy 2011-2020. A large number of industry representatives introduced their views with animated discussions around how to achieve a low-carbon energy system (or rather how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.) Also the various European agencies (regulators, network operators) presented themselves. Sub-themes were the functioning of the internal market (do we really need more competition ?), external relations, finance for new investments and the Europeanisation of energy policy which was also raised by European Energy Commissioner Oettinger at the EPSU Conference. EPSU’s Deputy General Secretary raised the importance of involving Europe’s trade unions in Europe’s energy policy. Issues such as employment, qualifications and skills as well as working conditions are important. Europe’s energy policy needs a social dimension he argued. Together with a representative of BEUC (Consumers) the roll-out of smart meters was criticized if not based on cost-benefit analysis that take employment and qualification issues into account. He also argued that the regulators (ACER) should ensure that the voices of low-income households and others should be heard. The conference took place 30 September 2010, Brussels.