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Speaking to the French Senate on 17 April, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said he was “rather optimistic” about reaching a political agreement at the meeting of EU energy ministers on 6 June.”The two groups of countries until now opposed on the issue are now talking to each other and searching for a compromise that could be acceptable to all member states,” Piebalgs told the French deputies. “There are no problems relating to the objectives of unbundling; the difficulties only relate to the method of implementation.”

A British diplomat described the Commission’s amendments as “very interesting proposals” and “a better starting point” than the French and German proposal for a Third Way. He added he would be “surprised if all eight countries” opposed to unbundling rejected it.

A French source was more evasive, saying “all amendments that reinstate the Third Way receive our support”.

Claude Turmes, a Green MEP with knowledge of the negotiations, was cautious about the status of the Commission’s proposed amendments. “This text is changing all the time. Everybody has an interest in spreading false information.”

Turmes restated his belief that the Commission’s initial proposal for full ownership unbundling would receive a large backing in Parliament, saying “there will be a majority in favour” at the vote in the industry committee on 6 May.

From EurActiv

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