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HLGenergy strategy talks launchamidscepticism, internal tensions

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HLGenergy strategy talks launchamidscepticism, internal tensions

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The High Level Group on Competitiveness, Energy and the Environment (HLG) has held its first meeting, in Brussels.

The Group aims to study how the energy markets work, and assess the short and long-term impact on the competitiveness of industry, on the environment and on incentives for investment.

Although it was launched in the wake of this winter’s Ukraine-Russia gas crisis, it was conceived before it.

Its holds ample scope for EU internal reflection, such as over uneven implementation of liberalisation commitments in the single market.

Green party Euro-MP Claude Turmes is a specialist in energy questions:

“If the Barroso Commission lacks the political courage to crack down on those who won’t play the game… It is clearly the French and German governments that have locked their markets up and will go off to play in the other markets. That’s why the European Commission, in my opinion, even has a majority of the other member states against France and Germany. But this political majority must be organised.”

Over the next two years, according to its mandate, the HLG will foster closer coordination between policy and legislative initiatives.

This is supposed to contribute to clearer rules within broad EU frameworks to integrate energy, industry and environmental matters.

It forms part of the EU5;s partnership for growth and jobs.