Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dodgy bits of the Lisbon treaty: energy policy

All posts on Lisbon

This is in response to a comment on another blog. The Lisbon treaty isn't dodgy on energy policy per se, what's a bit dodgy is that this is not the first time someone is claiming that Lisbon is important for energy policy when, as far as I can tell, it changes nothing.

So here, side-by-side are everything the EU treaties say about energy, before and after Lisbon. Before is taken from a consolidated copy of the treaties after Nice published by europa.eu and after is taken from a consolidated copy of the treaties after Lisbon published by the Institute of European Affairs (why I have to do the crappy work of putting this together is yet another reason to dislike the entire treaty process).

.
BeforeAfter
Article 3

1.   For the purposes set out in Article 2, the activities of the Community shall include, as provided in this Treaty and in accordance with the timetable set out therein:

(a) the prohibition, as between Member States, of customs duties and quantitative restrictions on the import and export of goods, and of all other measures having equivalent effect;

...

(u) measures in the spheres of energy, civil protection and tourism.
2. Shared competence between the Union and the Member States applies in the
following principal areas:
(a) internal market;
...
(i) energy;
No text
                                        Article 122
1. Without prejudice to any other procedures provided for in the Treaties, the Council,
   on a proposal from the Commission, may decide, in a spirit of solidarity between
   Member States, upon the measures appropriate to the economic situation, in
   particular if severe difficulties arise in the supply of certain products, notably in the
   area of energy.

Article 154

1.   To help achieve the objectives referred to in Articles 14 and 158 and to enable citizens of the Union, economic operators and regional and local communities to derive full benefit from the setting-up of an area without internal frontiers, the Community shall contribute to the establishment and development of trans-European networks in the areas of transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructures.

2.   Within the framework of a system of open and competitive markets, action by the Community shall aim at promoting the interconnection and interoperability of national networks as well as access to such networks. It shall take account in particular of the need to link island, landlocked and peripheral regions with the central regions of the Community.
                                     Article 170
1. To help achieve the objectives referred to in Articles 28 and 174 and to enable citizens
   of the Union, economic operators and regional and local communities to derive full
   benefit from the setting-up of an area without internal frontiers, the Union shall
   contribute to the establishment and development of trans-European networks in the
   areas of transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructures.
2. Within the framework of a system of open and competitive markets, action by the
   Union shall aim at promoting the interconnection and interoperability of national
   networks as well as access to such networks. It shall take account in particular of the
   need to link island, landlocked and peripheral regions with the central regions of the
   Union.
No text
                                   TITLE XXI
                                       ENERGY
                                         Article 194
1. In the context of the establishment and functioning of the internal market and with
   regard for the need to preserve and improve the environment, Union policy on energy
   shall aim, in a spirit of solidarity between Member States, to:
    (a) ensure the functioning of the energy market;
    (b) ensure security of energy supply in the Union; and
    (c) promote energy efficiency and energy saving and the development of new and
        renewable forms of energy; and
    (d) promote the interconnection of energy networks.
2. Without prejudice to the application of other provisions of the Treaties, the European
   Parliament and the Council, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative
   procedure, shall establish the measures necessary to achieve the objectives in
   paragraph 1. Such measures shall be adopted after consultation of the Economic and
   Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
   Such measures shall not affect a Member State’s right to determine the conditions for
   exploiting its energy resources, its choice between different energy sources and the
   general structure of its energy supply, without prejudice to Article 192(2)(c).
3. By way of derogation from paragraph 2, the Council, acting in accordance with a
   special legislative procedure, shall unanimously and after consulting the European
   Parliament, establish the measures referred to therein when they are primarily of a
   fiscal nature.

The treaty adds new text - the first piece of new text is so vague as to be meaningless. The second piece of new text sets out the goals for the energy, which had not been set out before. As far as I can tell there are 0 new powers or abilities added in the field of energy. Despite not having the goals set out before the EU managed to agree a policy last year exactly along these lines, to combat climate change and provide energy security (see my letter for details and link). How did they manage to do that before ratifying Lison? I can only assume it's because we don't need Lisbon for the EU to do this.

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