Piebalgs meets energy industry leaders ahead of Summit
Brussels, Belgium – Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs will meet with top officials of key European and Russian energy companies in the European Business Leaders Convention that is taking place today in St. Petersburg. The meeting will be attended by the Finish Prime Minister, President of the EU Council Matti Vanhanen. “Now that the energy relations between the EU and Russia are on the top of the agenda, I consider as extremely crucial that representatives of the respective industries from both sides discuss at the same table their challenges and concerns and thus contribute to deepening of our energy relationship”, said Commissioner Piebalgs.
Under the title “How to meet Europe’s needs” the participants in the conference will discuss issues related to the EU-Russia Energy Relationship, the Geopolitics of European Energy and the role of energy in the future EU-Russia trade relations. In his remarks, Commissioner Piebalgs will present the new European Energy Policy, and particularly, the multiple role that EU-Russia bilateral relations play in this policy.
The European Union and Russia are pivotal players, because of their dominant positions as drivers of supply and demand and their increasing interdependency. The European Business Leaders Convention takes place in a moment in which EU-Russia energy relations are high in the media agenda.
The EU – Russia relationship is important in bilateral as well as multilateral context.
The Commission agreed on 4 July the draft negotiating directives for a new EU-Russia Agreement to replace the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which will reach the end of its initial ten-year period on 30 November 2007. One of the objectives of this agreement is the development of a deepened energy relationship.
Next 15 July the leaders of the group of most industrialised nations – G8 – will meet in Saint Petersburg. At the end of this meeting, G8 leaders will sign a joint declaration with a substantial part devoted to energy. The EU and Russia are both major players on world’s energy market and their cooperation is crucial for strengthening global energy security.