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Single Market and Relevant Policies

Thursday, 04 May 2017

The European Union is called upon to address the energy issue in conjunction with ensuring environmental protection. In the same vein, the appropriate legal framework is being elaborated in order to promote energy efficiency, energy saving, interconnected energy networks and the development of new and renewable energy sources. The concept of “energy solidarity” is introduced for the first time, providing for EU policy to be carried out “in a spirit of solidarity between states.” The Union’s energy targets were included in the “Europe 2020” Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, which was approved by the June 2010 European Council. The Union seeks to achieve ambitious goals in the areas of energy and climate change by 2020: reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels; increasing the share of renewables in final energy consumption to 20%; and moving towards a 20% increase in energy efficiency. Τhe relatively new concept of circular economy is also heavily promoted.
The European Commission recently (10.11.2010) published the “Energy 2020” Communication, which is the new European Strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy. The communication sets the Union’s energy priorities for the coming decade and presents the actions that must be undertaken towards saving energy, achieving a market with competitive prices and secure supplies, boosting technological leadership, and effective negotiations with international partners. With regards to energy security, its inclusion in the renewed Energy Strategy followed the gas conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the interruption of gas supply towards Europe in January 2009. Today, energy security is a fundamental aspect of the Union’s Strategy on Energy as it includes interconnected networks, energy efficiency, diversification of energy sources, use of new technologies, optional use of nuclear energy, improved energy infrastructure, creation of crisis management supply mechanisms and solidarity mechanisms among member states, the optimization of managing domestic energy sources and reinforced energy dialogue between the EU and third countries.
Our country welcomes the inclusion of energy projects of particular interest to Greece (gas pipelines ITGI and IGB) in the European Economic Recovery Plan, which will provide adequate financing. Of particular note is the need for the implementation of a Mediterranean Solar Plan, on which Greece has a substantial role to play. In this framework, the development of indigenous energy resources and the protection of vulnerable consumers constitute areas of main interest.


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