Policy Areas

Further strengthening of the EC – Norway energy cooperation

During their meeting in Brussels today, the EU Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Andris Piebalgs, and the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Odd Roger Enoksen, reaffirmed their mutual interest in close and comprehensive consultations on key energy issues.

15/09/2006 :: “In working towards a coherent and coordinated energy policy, the EU aims to build on the significant potential for improving energy cooperation with Norway” said Commissioner Piebalgs. “”Completing the internal energy market is a major policy target of the EU and Norway can play a key role in this process”
”Norway is a major exporter of oil and gas to the European Union and an integral part of the EU internal energy market through the European Economic Area Agreement. This calls for close relations” said Minister Enoksen.
Discussions during the meeting centered around the Green Paper on a European Strategy for sustainable, competitive and secure energy, and the future of oil and gas in the European Economic Area .
Both parties underlined the importance of ensuring that the energy dialogue between the EU and Norway reflects the interests of energy producers and consumers alike. The dialogue is founded on the common perception that energy plays a key role in achieving the objectives of competitiveness, sustainability and security of supply.
Where energy efficiency is concerned, the Commissioner presented the main initiatives of the new action plan due to be approved by the Commission at the end of September 2006. The overall goal of the action plan is to save 20% of the EU’s primary energy consumption by 2020. The two sides agreed to strengthen co-operation and to share best practice in this area, while confirming that greater use of renewable energy is a priority for both.
Minister Enoksen and Commissioner Piebalgs also exchanged information on recent developments concerning security of supply, including the situation on the international energy markets.
With regards to energy technology, the two sides agreed on the importance of pursuing technological developments in the energy sector, for example related to the 7th EU Framework Programme for Research and Development currently under discussion.
Commissioner Piebalgs and Minister Enoksen were briefed on the main conclusions of the first meeting of the EU-Norway Energy Cooperation Group which took place the same day. EC Director Heinz Hilbrecht and Norwegian Director General Gunnar Gjerde presented the objectives and  time table of  work towards a joint report to be submitted to the next Ministerial meeting, in June 2007. 
The key theme of next year’s meeting will be the Joint EC-Norway Energy Cooperation Group paper on security of supply and security of demand in the EEA. There will also be discussions on the recommendations from the Group on further work to enhance cooperation on energy issues and concrete measures to be adopted on both sides based on the overview of energy cooperation.

(September 15, 2006)

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