Conservative politician and Scottish MEP Ian Duncan has expressed concerns that plans for an EU Energy Union may remove flexibility from national governments when determining their own energy policies.
Dr Duncan voiced his worries after MEPs in the European Parliament voted on Tuesday to back plans which mean the Energy Union must provide EU citizens with secure, sustainable and affordable energy.
The vote followed the European Commission’s Energy Union strategy, published earlier this year and aimed to make the market within Europe more coordinated.
The non-legislative resolution recommends reducing dependence on energy imports. It also aims to make moves towards making better use of existing and renewable sources.
Dr Duncan noted that although Conservative MEPs support the objectives of the strategy they were concerned by the actions of a coalition of socialist and green MEPs who forced through amendments to the report which would bring in binding national targets on renewables and energy efficiency.
Dr Duncan said: “I welcome much of the ambition behind the Energy Union, given the current fragmented nature of energy policy at EU level.
“However, I could not support this report as it stands, as it proposes weakening the role of national governments, such as by requiring the Commission to participate in all national negotiations with non-EU countries on energy deals.
He added: “The call for binding targets would prevent individual countries from reducing emissions in a way that is tailored to their specific needs.
“Energy Union must be about fully liberalising energy markets, otherwise Europe will continue to rely on the insecurity of imported energy, and customers will face ever higher energy costs.”