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Slovak Presidency to promote Energy Union, low carbon emissions

Bratislava wants energy security for European citizens and companies, better energy prices

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ATHENS – Slovakia, which kicked off its six-month presidency of the European Union on July 1, will push for the implementation of the EU Energy Union, energy security and lower carbon emissions, the Ambassador of Slovakia to Greece told New Europe on July 8.

“We will continue to promote the Energy Union as a union that should bring more diversification of sources and also routes of energy,” Peter Michalko said on the sidelines of an event at the European Parliament Office in Athens, presenting the priorities of the rotating Presidency of the Council, which represents the Union’s 28 Member States. “We’re going to promote as the Presidency the common European agenda in this regard. The scope is to bring energy security, safe sources of energy for European citizens and companies and also creating conditions for better prices for energy,” he added.

European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič from Slovakia is in charge of the EU Energy Union. In the Council of energy ministers, the Slovak

Presidency will focus on building the Energy Union, with the emphasis on increasing energy security and competitiveness. The Presidency will pursue discussions on proposals on security of gas supply, intergovernmental agreements in the field of energy and energy labelling of products, aiming to reach an overall agreement regarding the proposals, according to the priorities posted on the Slovak Presidency’s website.

Asked about planned pipelines like Russia’s Nord Stream 2, Michalko said that there is a EU common policy and an “existing set of rules to which all projects have to obey”.

Like any other EU Presidency, Slovakia will try to promote the interests of all member states and will not only push its own agenda, the Slovak ambassador said.

According to the programme of the Slovak Presidency, Bratislava will continue discussions on the proposal for the revision of the emissions trading scheme, with a view to agreeing a general approach within the Council. The Slovak Presidency said it will discuss two related legislative proposals from the European Commission, namely the proposal on the sectors not included in the emissions trading scheme and the proposal on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions related to land use, land-use change and forestry.

Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement at the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Slovak Presidency said it will also address other issues related to the ratification of the Agreement by the Member States and the EU, including the ministerial debate on the ratification of the Paris Agreement. A proposal for the ratification of the Paris Agreement on the EU’s behalf has already been submitted and the Slovak Presidency will seek to conclude the proposal.

Michalko told New Europe that the Slovak Presidency would follow up on the implementation and application of the EU commitments of the Paris Agreement. “Application of these goals is part of the efforts of the Slovak Presidency with a specific goal to focus on low carbon economy and also the circulation economy, meaning that there should be more emphasis on minimising the production of waste within the economic circle,” Michalko said.

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Co-founder / Director of Energy & Climate Policy and Security at NE Global Media

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