Inconsistencies in European Energy Policies

Jean-Pierre Schaeken Willemaers, Chairman of the Energy, Climate, and Environment Department of the Thomas More Institute

October 2008 • Tribune 22 •

The objectives of the European energy policy should be to ensure the well being of its citizens, the proper functioning of the economy, the uninterrupted physical availability of energy products at an acceptable price for all consumers while respecting environment concerns and securing sustainable development. If the European Union approved a program, “Energy for a Changing World”, defining its energy policy, it still has to face many challenges and contradictory issues.

The author of this tribune, Jean-Pierre Schaeken Willemaers, a specialist of energy resources in the academic as well as the industrial fields and a member of the Advisory Board of the Belgian Committee of the Thomas More Institute, points out the inconsistencies of this policy: the lack of consensus among EU Member States which limits the Commission’s scope for action, the competition and environmental concerns, the environment/ investments and energy prices, and the place of energy demand and regulation. He also provides reasonable potential solutions concerning coal, nuclear power or renewable energies which could be integrated within a more coherent policy according to their characteristics.