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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

AFET - Šuica on gas supplies and the energy union, safe countries of origin, and the liberalisation of visas for citizens of Kosovo

Today during the meeting of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) of the European Parliament in Brussels issues related to the energy union and the security of gas supply dominated, however, there was also discussion about visa liberalization for Kosovo and the list of safe countries.


Participating in the debate on the security of gas supply, Member Dubravka Šuica highlighted: ˝It is interesting that we discuss this issue today, on the day when Presidents Juncker and Putin are meeting. Our role is not to change, but to introduce innovations and to defend the position of the Commission. This means that we need to strengthen regional cooperation and engage in the question of gas security. It is necessary to reinforce the solidarity clause and to strengthen energy diplomacy, but most important is the exchange of data. The fact is that the Member States cooperate well, but there is a need for the exchange of contracts between companies. The current situation is against our philosophy of the energy union, which means that the Baltic countries and new member states from Eastern Europe, in contrast to the old member states such as Germany, France and Italy, would be in a position to disclose details of contracts on gas supply if its signing means that annual natural gas consumption in the Member State concerned exceeds 40%. It is known that six countries of Eastern Europe are dependent on only one source of gas, and this document is a way to manage a possible gas crisis and to reduce the abuse of their position by the big players in the market and to make sure that they are subject to market rules. Energy security is an instrument of foreign policy and it needs to be seen as such.˝


A discussion on visa liberalisation for Kosovo followed, where the two main obstacles identified during a recent visit to Kosovo were highlighted. Better results in the fight against corruption and organized crime must be shown and Kosovo must ratify the agreement with Montenegro on border demarcation. MEP Šuica said: ˝We are aware of the external and internal challenges faced by Kosovo, the opposition and the government HAVE not cooperated for a long time now except in the case of the SAPC Committee, and European integration is the only factor that unites them. Kosovo must adopt statutes for Serbian municipalities in northern Kosovo and solve the issue of border agreements with Montenegro. I support further efforts for visa liberalisation and the whole process of European integration of Kosovo.˝


In conclusion, during the meeting of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) there was a vote on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a common list of safe countries of origin, for which MEP Šuica was a shadow rapporteur, and with the report, all countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey became safe countries.

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