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13 July 2016
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EU energy and climate change ministers: Each country has a right to choose its own path in reaching climate and energy objectives

Bratislava (13 July 2016) – A closer cooperation among Member States is a precondition for effective functioning of climate and energy policies and reaching their objectives. These are the outcomes of informal meetings of EU energy and climate change ministers in Bratislava, which were organized within the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU. Ministers also emphasized that each country has a right to choose appropriate measures for reaching climate and energy objectives in accordance with the principle of technological neutrality.

The objective of the meeting of EU energy and climate change ministers chaired by the Minister of Economy Mr Peter Žiga was to exchange views about current topics discussed both in Slovakia as well as in the EU.

EU energy and climate change ministers discussed sustainable financing and governance of the Energy Union. They agreed that energy and climate change policies are closely interlinked, and hence strengthening the cooperation among Member States in this area is a precondition for effective functioning and reaching Energy Union objectives. Peter Žiga, Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic stated: „We agreed that governance and its structure must have strong foundations. Only then we can build an effective and truly functioning Energy Union and reach climate and energy objectives set by the EU in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, energy efficiency increase and share of renewable energy sources.“ Reaching our common objectives should be supported by European financial mechanisms.

Meeting of the EU energy ministers took place on the second day of the event. They discussed the energy prices and costs and their impact on EU competitiveness. Member States agreed on the need to thoroughly analyze the impact of all newly adopted measures on competitiveness of European enterprises. „They emphasized that each state has the right to choose appropriate measures for reaching climate and energy objectives in accordance with the principle of technological neutrality.” informed the Minister Peter Žiga. Heads of the ministries responsible for energy affairs stated that liquid European and international market is needed in order to reduce the energy prices. Therefore it is necessary to continue in the development of infrastructure interconnections and on the global scale to develop dialogue with the third countries.    

The second part of the meeting of energy ministers was dedicated to the current topic of the liquefied natural gas and its contribution to EU energy security. A special guest, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, Amos J. Hochstein, participated in this part of the informal meeting. LNG is an area with significant potential for the EU, which was for the first time discussed on the high political level in Slovakia. „Discussion showed that the implementation of measures leading to diversification of gas sources via LNG is important for Member States and it is necessary to continue in this effort” announced Minister Peter Žiga. According to statements of Ministers, it is important to build intra-European infrastructure so that deliveries of LNG are available for all EU Member States.  

Representatives of industry associations were also invited to individual sessions to present their views on respective topics. The informal meeting opened discussions on topics such as energy security, diversification of sources and transit routes, impacts of energy policy measures on competitiveness of industry as well as more effective interface between energy and climate policy. „We agreed with colleagues that further coordination and searching of mutual interests is needed. We should build on existing platforms of regional cooperation when introducing new measures and implement them in a timely manner in order to enhance energy security of the EU“, concluded Peter Žiga, the Slovak Minister of Economy.

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