EU examines future energy needs

Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, is expected to present a green paper in Brussels today intended to help the 25-nation bloc prepare for its future energy supply. Soaring petroleum costs have exposed the European Union’s dependence on the fuel source. Many EU countries, including Greece, rely heavily on petrol for their energy needs. Greece has lagged in adopting programs to harness renewable energy sources, even though the country can use solar and wind power as reliable resources to that end. The EU green paper will address energy issues related to current conditions and will try to help the bloc prepare for a changing world in which environmental issues have also become more pressing on the global energy map. «We can no longer take secure and affordable supplies for granted,» Barroso said recently. Sources say the green paper contains no outlandish proposals but articulates the necessary – and hard-to-implement – changes the bloc must make to improve energy policy. The proposed policy considers areas over which the EU already has authority, including making the bloc the world leader in low carbon emission technology, according to press reports. Barroso stresses that the energy issue has become urgent for all Europeans and believes EU citizens should work together to deal with it. Together, Europeans could collaborate on issues such as re-evaluating the need for some types of energy or using fuels or power sources that pollute less. The green paper could also involve a collaboration with the United States, though the cooperation does not mean the US will influence policymaking. Only EU member states can accept or reject proposals.