EU energy policy: Hungarian impetus and organisational challenges

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The most important and most innovative energy policy initiative to be implemented in the European Union by the new Hungarian presidency concerns “Energy security” and its corollary, “Energy infrastructures”, an area in which improvements are essential both to import energy and to transmit it within the Union. 
The discussions on these matters are likely to prove heated both in the Council of Ministers and in the Parliament. 
The results that will be obtained in terms of European directives will depend largely on the organisational relations established between the rotating presidency of the Union, the permanent Presidency, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton, and the European Commission itself. The latter is in the process of transforming its structural organisation to enable it to deal better with the new situation that will result from joint decisions taken by the Council and the Parliament.  
In particular, it has just set up two new entities: the European External Action Service (EEAS) and European Aid Development and Cooperation (DEVCO), although it is as yet too soon to assess their working methods. In addition, in the field of energy, the competent Directorate General is to retain its responsibility here, as are the Directorates General for Research, the Joint Research Centre, the Environment and Climate, as regards their actions in this area.  
In this organisational context, it will also be necessary to define the financial outlook on which the companies called upon to construct the energy infrastructures needed will be able to rely. 
We will be returning to these operational aspects as soon as possible.

Date: 
Saturday, January 1, 2011