March 11, 2008
Speaking to journalists after the Council meeting, Jean-Louis Borloo, French minister for ecology and sustainable development, spoke strongly against the Commission’s unbundling proposals, saying the EU was engaged in “an economic war” on energy.Borloo in particular rejected the idea that market forces are appropriate to regulate an area as “vital” as energy. “The market does not tell the truth about prices,” Borloo said, adding: “The weight of competition in the market today needs to be revised.””Thinking that we are going to solve the energy problem only with market regulation in the short term – I don’t believe in it.”Meanwhile, French diplomats claimed they managed to rally more countries against ‘ownership unbundling’, saying that a document prepared by the Slovenian Presidency, which attempted to summarise the discussion, was blocked only due to last-minute opposition from the UK, Sweden and the
Netherlands.”There were up to 24 member states which could live with that document,” one diplomat said, adding that France’s third-way proposal was “gaining ground” in the Council.A British source confirmed that the UK had blocked the document because it failed to mention its own paper while making ample reference to the ‘third option’ proposal backed by the group of eight.Speaking after the Council meeting, Slovenian minister of economy Andrej Vizjak said experts will discuss “all the proposals” which are on the table, although he stated his preference for the Commission’s unbundling proposal as “the most effective method”.
“We cannot and we must not ignore reservations by member states,” Vizjak said. “As [the current holder of the] EU Presidency, we have to take them into account.”
From Eur ActivAuthor : EMI