Tricks, tips, tutorials, pictures and words

Commissioner Andris PIEBALGS: Two to tango

May 15, 2009 - Hollywood legend Anthony Quinn, who starred in classic films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Zorba the Greek, was so fiercely independent that director Orson Welles once referred to him as a one-man tango. But in politics there is no such thing as solitary dances, as the key to getting results is being in step with your partner. The EU’s relationship with Russia is such a dance. Sometimes you might find one of them stepping on the toes of the other, but invariably they get the best results when they are both dancing to the same tune.

Energy is one of the areas where the EU and Russia have recognised they have much to gain from working together. This was highlighted at the recent meeting of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council on Energy in Moscow. This energy dialogue was established in 2000 to discuss issues of mutual concern in the energy sector. The meeting on 30 April was a good opportunity to rebuild confidence and trust, discuss the latest policy developments and the impact of the financial crisis on energy sectors in Russia and the EU, and improve mutual understanding.

It is vital to remember that both are highly dependent on each other. Russia might be the EU’s most important energy supplier, but at the same time the EU represents almost 80% of cumulative foreign investments in Russia. As such neither party can afford to ignore the interests of the other. The basis of any good relationship is communication and initiatives such as the Permanent Partnership Council help us to have a good and frank debate about different topics.

The gas crisis at the beginning of 2009 underlined the importance of collaborating on energy. Hundreds of thousands of households found themselves without gas due to the dispute between Russia and Ukraine over the supply of gas. As we cannot afford to have another disruption of supply, it is important to continue to have an open dialogue with Russia and all other interested partners to discuss how to upgrade existing infrastructure and put in place a conflict resolution system. This would enable governments and industry to find a solution to any dispute before any harmful action is taken. A first step towards this could be an enhanced early warning mechanism and a legally binding resolution system to avoid any repetition of the recent gas crisis. With measures like these, we can look forward to many smooth dances together.

Commissioner Andris PIEBALGS

Hello, you wrote:

Hundreds of thousands of households found themselves without gas due to the dispute between Russia and Ukraine over the supply of gas.

But I'm convinced it is all your fault, probably not intentional but still. Hear me out. In the Debate Europe forum we are debating the lack of participation of the 650 000 000 Europeans. The lack of participation of the thousands of Eurocrats is highly insulting.

I'm not sure if you are aware there is such a thing but you (of all people) have your own forum there! Now we all appreciate you being much to busy to ever address the public, you have a blog which does creates a big contrast with our thousands of other employees.

I'm convinced you can find some one to look over the topics for you and forwards the important suggestions to you. It wouldn't hurt if your blog postings would also appear in this forum.

If such effort would be made, this specific discussion should have interested you more than anything. The gist of this topic is that Germany has the capacity to produce all the Gas Europe could possibly need.

The only thing standing in the way are the politicians. So in one country you have people shutting down their industries by lack of gas and in another country you have partisan politicians lobbying their way out of this scheme.

The claim is that the quality of the gas is asserted to be to good in comparison to the imported gas. This while there is no need to import gas which would give everyone access to high quality gas. Laughable arguments for anyone who isn't freezing to death.

In stead of just giving our money to the milk industry why not give them our money to build gas installations? We can then give Russia aid money in stead of pretending we need their products.

We could have win win win, in stead we have fail fail and fail?

You are investing my money in a forum, I invest my time to participate in the debate but if you are planing to never read any of it I might as well send email to myself.

The biogas industry is extremely mature. I would much prefer to see cold fusion powered hydrogen plants enriched with incombustible atmospheric gases to match the burn rate of natural gas but this is not ready to be implemented.

You don't have to be afraid of us, I know talking with your employer can be quite scary but we might just like you. Besides from the moderator and an occasional video message from Barroso there is no one at all representing Brussels. And we should agree with the Lisabon Treaty?Absolute power for people who do not talk with us? Kinda silly suggestion? don't you think?

At least fill out the website, country, job and email fields?

Good luck and thanks for my time,

opinion, eu, politics, energy, gas, bionics