Speak Up Energy

Former French Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine had harsh words about the EU’s attempts at forging a common external energy policy, saying Europeans should stop lamenting their divisions. “Europeans are divided, it’s their nature, it’s a fact,” Védrine insisted, adding that a lot of time and effort could be gained from recognising this.Suggesting a possible way forward, Védrine said a process similar to economic and monetary union (EMU), which culminated with the launch of the euro, could be applied to foreign policy. Like the EMU, the process would have a timetable, an agenda, intermediary targets and a countdown, Védrine explained.Using the controversial Russo-German Baltic gas pipeline project to illustrate his point, Védrine said an EMU-style process would pull EU nations together into “a convergence process based on each others’ legitimate interests.” “It is a process which is not quick and easy but which has the advantage of being explicable to the public,” he added, insisting that “divergences need to be put into the public place.”

Védrine concluded by saying that a true common external energy policy cannot be achieved in
Europe without a feeling of a common threat. “I think the lever of anxiety needs to be utilised,” Védrine concluded somewhat enigmatically.

From Eur Activ

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