September 26, 2007 / 2:59 PM / 12 years ago

EU lawmakers call for new energy supremo post

BRUSSELS, Sept 26 (Reuters) - European Union lawmakers called on Wednesday for the creation of a new post to ensure better coordination of energy and foreign policy in the 27-nation bloc which relies heavily on imports for its power.

In a non-binding resolution, the European Parliament said the new energy supremo should report to the bloc’s foreign policy chief — a post currently held by Javier Solana — whose own powers are to be strengthened under a planned treaty reforming the EU’s institutions.

“I realise there is still a long way before a common EU energy policy is created but I am happy that this first step was supported so widely,” said Polish deputy Jacek Saryusz-Wolski who drew up the resolution.

The parliament said the new official would help the EU speak with one voice on energy by offering stronger links between the executive European Commission and national governments.

“The EU’s growing dependence on external energy supplies, largely from undemocratic and unstable countries, and particularly gas dependence on Russia, is worrying and may harm ... the overall security of the EU,” it said in a statement.

The new official would work alongside the EU’s energy commissioner whose role would continue to be largely technical with little foreign policy clout.

The Commission wants to strengthen the EU’s energy policy coordination but some member states still pursue conflicting strategies.

For example, Germany wants to build a gas pipeline from Russia under the Baltic Sea, a plan vehemently opposed by fellow EU members Poland and the Baltic republics who fear Moscow could use the infrastructure to apply political pressure.

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