PARIS, Jan. 26 -- The European Union is seeking an integrated, efficient energy policy that would improve its ability to manage growing dependence on non-EU energy supplies.
At a meeting of 25 EU finance ministers in Brussels Jan. 24, Austrian Energy Minister Martin Bartenstein said he would focus on energy during his country's 6-month presidency of the EU. Next spring the energy ministers will meet to pursue a "sure, sustainable, and competitive energy policy."
French Economic and Finance Minister Thierry Breton presented a memorandum promoting energy conservation, long-term investment visibility and planning, and improved communication with the EU's energy suppliers. The memorandum encourages the EU to seek international partnerships in exploration, production, and refining.
The proposal, based on France's long-term energy planning, offers help to any nation that wishes to initiate or resume nuclear power generation and sets out guidelines finding balance among safety, concern for environmental impact, and corporate competitiveness.
Among other measures, it encourages EU nations to replace petrochemicals with "green chemicals" and to continue development of hydrogen, fuel cell, and carbon dioxide sequestration technology.