July 4, 2008
Antonio Brufau, head of Spain’s biggest energy company, Pepsol, lambasted the inability of European politicians to formulate a unified energy policy. During his interview with the Financial Times, he said that “In terms of energy, Europe is not advancing in the right direction.” He criticised Europe’s lack of cohesion when dealing with powerful oil and gas producers such as Russia and Algeria.
“We have to have one single voice, one single policy, one single market.” The fact that Germany negotiated bilaterally with Russia for gas showed that “Europe was failing”, he said. This is obvious, and I’m sure that European citizens readily understand it. But they probably see this as a ‘Brussels’ failure, not being told that the principal competence rests with the Member States, and that anyway, ‘Brussels’ is ultimately the national leaders.
Brufau rightly also said that Europe needed to consider energy as an integral part of its foreign policy. But we are far from having a single foreign policy voice, and now further off due to the Irish “No”.Author : Stanley Crossick