Poland calls for EU energy union

Prime Minister Donald Tusk. EPP Summit, 2011. [Wikimedia]

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the EU should pay up to 75% of the pricetag for the gas infrastructure needed to be able to create an efficient network, including pipelines and interconnectors between member states.

Speaking in the southern town of Tychy, Prime Minister Tusk laid out his vision for a union whose main assumptions include the diversification of energy sources, including the extraction shale gas and coal.

“Taking into account the danger of potential gas crises, we should construct more effective mechanisms for ‘gas solidarity’ in the event of a crisis in gas deliveries,” Tusk said, as quoted by the Polish radio.

The Polish Prime Minister referred to the Ukraine situation and the 2009 gas crisis, when in his words for the first time, the idea of European unity arose. He said that his country would present proposals to its EU partners on how to increase their energy security, including through common energy purchases.

The idea of a new EU treaty to embark on a common energy policy has been advocated since 2010 by former European Commission President Jacques Delors and the then-European Parliament Polish President, Jerzy Buzek [read more].

At the 20-21 March EU summit, EU leaders tasked the European Commission to come up with a plan for decreasing energy dependence from Russia [read more]. The EU executive is expected to table such a proposal before the 26-27 June EU summit.

But in the meantime, Russia slammed Ukraine with new gas prices, over 40% higher than the “discount” Russian President Vladimir Putin gave to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich after he refused to sign the Association Agreement with the EU.

Ukraine will now have to pay $385.5 (€279) per 1,000 cubic metres of gas in the second quarter, an increase from the $268.5 (€195) agreed in December.

Gazprom's Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said the increase was justified, because Ukraine's debt for unpaid gas bills now stood at $1.7 billion.

However, this time the financial blow to Kiev is set to be cushioned by a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan package [read more].

  • 26-27 June: EU summit will discuss Commission's proposals for reducing energy dependence from Russia
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Joe Thorpe's picture

Poland wants this, Poland wants that.Poland should get its cheque book out & start coughing up. It wants strong defense to keep Russia quiet yet pays a pittance towards its security, It wants its roads upgrading & we pay a fortune for their privilege & now they want us to pay for their energy security. Its time they piped down & started contributing instead of looking for what they can get from others. The only thing they export is people.

bob's picture

Funny you should say that. It is the french, german and british people shouting that you want strong EU but you are the same people that don't want to acknolwedge that there are other countries that have potential and already are using the benefits of the EU. Poland's exports $192.3 billion (2012 est.) Imports $206.5 billion (2012 est.). I believe that Poland will be the next Germany because it has the potential to have a bigger export then import! And what exactly do you mean by "started contirbuting" isn't every coutry conributing with it's eu membership payments?

Joe Thorpe's picture

The contributors are the ones that put in MORE than they take out those that take out MORE than they put in contribute NOTHING they are leeches hooked up to EU Subsidies. Kennedy said ask what you can do for your country not what it can do for you. Poland is on the make for 11 Billion a year more from those that contribute to the EU budget than they put in. How is that fair? & they still want others to come running to protect their borders from the Russians despite spending a pittance themselves on defense & then they say they are increasing their defense spending but making a small percentage of a pittance is still a pittance & if you think Poland will be the next Germany you must be on whacky tobacco

bob's picture

Dude how can ALL the countries contribute be donors when there is such big difference in our economies? And maybe you have forgotten that it works in both ways: you too have acces to these subsidies. And finally the reason why your economies don't use all of the european fundings is because they are competitive and dominant over the other economies in the EU and therefore they use less more EU funding, as the others seeks ways to be more competitive. I want to you to check the growth economy of France, Germany, UK and USA (before the crisis in percentage). And compare it with the so- called bad coutries like Poland.

Joe Thorpe's picture

Take the UK it has never been subsidised by the EU not ever apart from 1975 when it had a referendum to leave the EU & even then it only got back a fraction more than it donated to the EU. Remember too that the UK had the IMF in & was on an IMF program during the 70's it was a basket case economy but still it paid in more than it ever got out. What exactly does the UK gain from subsidising Poland? Not only does it subsidise it, it has taken on over a million of its unemployed! The only country that benefits by the subsidised growth in Poland is Germany because they are right next door so that is who they trade with the most. Poland buys nothing from the UK for the simple reason it is too far away but not too far for its unemployed to travel. Now tell me what part of what I have stated isn't true? We get grief from your country over defense & yet we have the biggest defense budget & the best equipped forces in the whole of the EU why isnt Poland directing that venom at countries that cant defend their own airspace & seaways instead let alone come to their aid when the Russian come a knocking on their door?