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MEP Ramona Mănescu (PPE): Romania can redraw Europe’s energy map

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sigla ppe bunaMEP Ramona Mănescu (PPE) held a speech at the Romania ENERGY DAY 2015 – “Energy Union: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Energy in Central and South East Europe” event at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Excerpt out of the speech:

I am honoured to have been invited to participate to the Romania ENERGY DAY Conference. I consider it a very good event, especially because it has a direct focus on Romania.

I would like to congratulate the Romanian Energy Centre for organising this event, which is already at its fourth edition this year and I hope that all our efforts and all the efforts that the European Union is doing will bring positive visible results for Romania and its people.

ramona manescu energy

It is a great pleasure for me to be here and to share with you my view regarding the challenges and Investment opportunities in the energy sector.

As a Member of the AFET Committee within the European Parliament, I would also like to underline the connection between the Energy Security and Foreign Policy, because they work together, they are strongly connected!

I would like to use the opportunity to bring into discussion the connection between the main topic of this event: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Energy and the focus of the present session: Facilitating investments and security in indispensable Electricity Infrastructure.

I strongly believe that currently, the challenges are exactly the ones that are driving the opportunities for the future and these opportunities are represented by investments in all the aspects of energy infrastructure.

Romania is placed on the World Map at the intersection of several economic axes that are also geo-political ones, connecting Western Europe with Eastern Europe and further with Asia. Out of these axes, the one favouring the most Romania from an energy perspective is the maritime one, especially the Caspian Sea – Black Sea one.

In this enlarged area, geo-historically, Romania had a stabilizing and securing role, playing a defensive or gate of offensive role in some moments or a unifying role in others. With this roles assumed, and knowing the EU has already recognized for some years the strategic role of South Caucasus for its energy interests Romania is capable to maximize its position. Having a strong competition coming from Bulgaria and Turkey for the position of transit country in the European effort of diversifying energy sources, Romanian goals can only be achieved by a very active diplomacy on bilateral relations. This can bring that much needed advantage point that later translates into energy infrastructure projects.

Energy infrastructure development, according with the objectives set by the Energy Roadmap 2050 involves both a replacement/modernisation of the outdated segments and building new interconnections, needed for a Unique Energy Market.

All this new investments must be done using modern technologies, with low carbon emissions, this way assuring their long run in good conditions.
Also, we must not forget that such investments of updating the infrastructure with the new standards, are involving costs. These costs will imply upon industries, bringing new costs for the companies and lowering their competitiveness comparative with other entities from the rest of the world.
Energy sources diversification is another goal of Energy Roadmap 2050. This will assure us that hydrocarbons exporters will not use their capacities as a politico-strategic weapon.

The main challenges in promoting energy projects are:
• bringing together in a unitary and consistent opinion all the countries that are part of an energy project path
• securing the financing for such projects

It must be added that any energy project has a strategic meaning in addition to the commercial one.

And here is where it comes the opportunity of investments, infrastructure development and research in the area of producing, transporting and supplying of energy with a double target:

  • stabilizing a whole region by offering alternatives and opportunities
  • assuring long term energy security and sustainability by multiplying and diversifying energy sources and offering a predictable market for this supply

Romania is a country that I am proud to say that is present in the World statistics as the first country to have an industrial production of crude oil. The oil production is followed closely by the whole oil industry, research, infrastructure and then the horizontal industry, like the petro-chemical one. The international demand of energy resources is one of the reasons why today Constanta is the biggest port at the Black Sea and a major energetic hub for the whole European Union.

Romanian experience helps me to understand the complicated but strong connections between energy, resources, security, economic development, regional stability, political relations and conflicts.

Also, I can see a clear picture of a country that once was a major oil exporter but, under the pressure of the continuous reducing of natural reserves, evolved to a new stage where it invested in nuclear energy and has a long term nuclear program, developed a whole industry of renewable resources, from research to production and big Aeolian or photo-voltaic farms, and used its broad knowledge in hydrocarbons extraction, transport and storage to become an energy hub for a region where energy security is now the strongest diplomatic tool.

I believe that under the global discussion about energy security, combined with the pressure coming from the assumed goals of sustainability and reduced pressure over the climatic system, energy production in the shape of fossil fuels was, is and it will continue to be an engine that will assure the future development and stability.

The opportunities offered by the renewable energies in terms of research, production, implementation and operation are just starting to uncover.

This is where EU countries have a head start that can be turned into opportunities for cutting edge companies. I know a lot of Romanian companies capable to start from an idea and finish with a fully functional investment in areas like energy efficiency or renewable energy production. Also, I know some Romanian companies very active in research and innovation, that maybe are not as famous as Tesla, but that are capable to bring to life really amazing projects in areas that are harnessing wind or solar energy.

Interconnectivity of various energy transport and storage systems, that is more and more needed, offers another opportunity of investments, jobs creation and sustainability. Some good examples are the on-going and future projects of connecting the gas and oil resources, recently discovered in the Black Sea, through the hub offered by the Constanta Port, with the high demand coming from countries that are massively dependant on Russian exports.

These opportunities can take the European experience in renewable energies into new geographical areas and bring back here, on the EU territory, reliable sources and capacities of traditional fuels as fossil fuels.

I believe that the recent European Energy Security Strategy that the European Commission has released which outlines the framework for improved energy security, can be the fundament for future investments and opportunities on a large scale.

The EU Institutions are developing a European Energy Policy which aims first of all to ensure freedom, security and growth in Europe.Romania is the 7th country in size in Europe. It has a big potential that must be harnessed and in its efforts EU can significantly contribute in the benefit of all.

Foreign companies, interested in develop energy projects in South-East Europe, can take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Romanian economic environment.
The privatisation process, opening and deregulation of the internal market, together with the connections at regional level makes Romania a very profitable choice.

Following the approval process for the Energy Union Strategy and the profound regional shifts, Romania has the chance to promote its projects within EU financing schemes, in the benefit of both EU market and regional stability.

A good example could be EU – Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that still waits a green light from the European Parliament. Being the rapporteur on this document I can see the potential for both sides from an energy point of view if such an agreement becomes a reality. On one hand, EU weans off from the dependence on Russian gas. On the other, Turkmenistan gains a reliable, predictable and stable partner which helps an economy that is more and more dependent on its incomes from hydrocarbons.

This cannot be done only by EU itself. Member States, based on bilateral relations, can set the cornerstone for future development. I mention this because such a need has the potential to become a major opportunity for Romania which is positioned in the right place, has a good infrastructure of gas pipelines and keeps on expanding its interconnections.

Common goals can also bring constructive answers to questions like the Russia role in this equation or the Iranian issue. They can also represent a long term basis for economic development, which, in return, is capable to support regional stability and security.

Energy infrastructure: pipes or cables that are crossing the borders or the water routs that are crossing straits and national waters today, have the power to unite or to disrupt, to bring well-being and development or cause conflicts and chaos.

I am very optimistic and I think that we have in front of us a huge potential. I can see it and I am certain that through meetings, like the one of today, we will manage to understand it better. I trust that our goals will have fruitful results: peace, prosperity and sustainability.

As a conclusion, we can all agree, that important own resources, perfect positioning and a serious infrastructure – Romania can redraw Europe’s energy map.

 

 

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INTERVIEW Manfred Weber launched in Bucharest his bid as head of the next European Commission: ”We have to reconnect Europe, the Brussels level to the citizens”

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©️ Calea Europeană/ Diana Zaim

We have to reconnect Europe, the Brussels level to the citizens, came out from Manfred Weber’s call ahead of the EPP local and regional leaders Summit in Bucharest, were we spoke in an interview for Calea Europeană about the plans that a Weber Commission has for Europe and the program of the National Liberal Party from Romania in the upcoming EU elections.

Speaking before the speech where he presented is vision as EPP lead candidate for the president of the European Commission, Manfred Weber described to Calea Europeană the profile that the next European Commissioners should have in his mandate.

 

Robert Lupițu: Mr. Weber, the current President of the European Commission and the former Spitzenkandidat from EPP did not manage to visit Romania during the EP elections campaign back in 2014. But now you are here in Bucharest for the EPP regional and local leaders. Why is Romania important for you and for your project for Europe?

Manfred Weber: For me there is no Europe of East, West, North, South, small or big, poor or rich countries. There are only Europeans with their concerns, with their emotions and with their hopes for the future of our European way of life. That is why first of all I want to listen. The mayors told me about the problems in their regions, their villages and their cities. To listen is the very most important thing for a European politician and then to act. This is why I am in favour of a strong regional policy. I think we have still to invest a lot, especially in Romania. In infrastructure, in hospitals, to make the life better here in Romania. This is what I want to do, together with the agriculture funds. This is what we need for the future. And again, Europe starts with listening, that’s why politicians have to listen.

Robert Lupițu: PNL list of candidates for the EP elections looks like a solid one – 6 current MEPs, two important mayors and on top of the list there is one of the finest Romanian journalists. Why should the Romanian citizens vote for PNL candidates and not for others?

Manfred Weber: First of all, it is about the concrete program of PNL for the future of Romania inside of Europe. I have to say, the last years under the Socialist government, Romania was more perceived as a country we spoke about the weak engagement in the fight against corruption and other developments that were negative. Romania was not anymore in the first row of the European development and this why I think PNL has a good chance to show that Europe must be the first row. Romania is a strong European country and we want to see a strong Romanian voice on the European level. And the second is about the list. I think it is a good mixture, with professionals that have a lot of experience at a European level, six of them are active current members of the European Parliament and also fresh air: mayors who are very professionals and know what to do from a local point of view and others such as journalists. I think is a good mixture and is good to see that PNL is going up in the polls. We are having a good momentum. Everybody must now: when you vote for PNL you will be part of the largest political family in Europe that makes a lot of impact to the decision-making process.

Robert Lupițu: One final question. You mentioned about your program for Europe. How will the Weber Commission look and what type of profile should the next Romanian Commissioner have for your Commission and for your program for Europe?

Manfred Weber: I don’t wan to propose anything. We need a good mixture in the next European Commission between men and women. I think we have to respect the gender balance in the European Commission and we have to think about the practical impact. Is someone capable to deliver what it has to do? So, the next European Commission must be, first of all, a democratically legitimated Commission and it must be a Commission who is really listening a lot. We are not Brussels bubble, we are not elites in Brussels. We should be close to people and that is why all the Commissioners, I myself as a Commission President, must be close to people. And all the project must be linked to the concerns of the people. That is what I deeply believe. We have to reconnect Europe, the Brussels level to the citizens. 

Manfred Weber has served as Leader of the European People’s Party in the European Parliamentsince 2014. He has been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Germany since 2004.

On the 5th September 2018, Weber declared his intention to run for the position of President of the European Commission and was elected as the candidate of the EPP on November 8th.

 

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The National Liberal Party has nominated its candidates for the European elections. The list includes six MEPs, two important mayors and distinguished leaders with the journalist Rares Bogdan on top

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The National Liberal Party is the largest center-right party in Romania and a member of the European People’s Party, has nominated today the list with the candidates for the 23-26 May European elections. The National Liberal Party adopted the list of those who will compete for as many mandates as possible of the 33 mandates which are allocated to Romania. The list has been made under the motto “Romania in the first place” with two days before hosting in Bucharest the Summit of regional and local EPP leaders about the European elections in 2019.

On the list of the Liberals for the European Parliament elections, there are, according to the seats occupied by the internal vote: Rareş Bogdan (TV producer), Mircea Hava (Mayor of Alba Iulia), Siegfried Mureşan (MEP and EPP spokesman), Vasile Blaga (former co-president of the National Liberal Party) AdinaVălean (MEP), Daniel Buda (MEP), Dan Ştefan Motreanu (vice-president of the National Liberal Party), Gheorghe Falcă (Mayor of Arad), Cristian Buşoi (MEP), Marian-Jean Marinescu (MEP and deputy chair of the EPP Group in the European Parliament ), Vlad Nistor (vice-president of the National Liberal Party), Mihai Ţurcanu (MEP) or Violeta Alexandru (former minister).

“The National Liberal Party is the political force, in fact, the only political force that is respected and  appreciated at European level, which has the capacity to influence the decisions at European level in favor of Romania. It is up to every member of the National Liberal Party to be seriously involved in this campaign, to open and have an open ommunication with every citizen of Romania. We have to send  to our message very clearly, that  “Romania in the first place!”, said the leader The National Liberal Party, Ludovic Orban,  in the debates of the Liberals meeting.

After the list of candidates for the European Parliament has been set by BEx, it will be validated by the National Political Bureau of the party, which will be held also on Thursday in Parliament.

A total of 49 liberals entered the race for the European Parliament.

At present, MEPs in the European Parliament are: Daniel Buda, Cristian Buşoi, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Siegfried Mureşan, Traian Ungureanu and Adina Vălean.

Continue reading: EPP Regional and Local Leaders to debate future of Europe with Manfred Weber and Klaus Iohannis on 16 March in Bucharest

© EPP

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EPP Regional and Local Leaders to debate future of Europe with Manfred Weber and Klaus Iohannis on 16 March in Bucharest

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© EPP/ Flickr

Around 4.000 political leaders across all governance levels will gather on Saturday in Bucharest for the Summit of EPP Regional and Local Leaders in view of the EU 2019 Elections, a high-level event that will bring together Manfred Weber, Spitzenkandidat of the European People’s Party (EPP), Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, and main EPP leaders across Europe.

According to a press release sent to CaleaEuropeană.ro, the Summit, co-hosted by the National Liberal Party of Romania (PNL), together with the EPP Group in the European Committee of the Regions (EPP-CoR) and the EPP, takes place in RomExpo upon the invitation of President of PNL, Ludovic Orban, President of EPP-CoR, Michael Schneider and EPP President Joseph Daul.

© EPP

Manfred Weber, the EPP Lead Candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, will deliver the Summit’s keynote speech and hold an EPP Local Dialogue with regional and local leaders and young citizens as part of his Spitzenkandidat Listening Tour.

The event will also see a high-level debate on Europe is our Common Future with Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, as well as a debate with mayors and regional representatives across Europe on how the EPP Family delivers results that protect and improve citizens’ lives.

Adding to the momentum of the Summit, youth members from the young EPP and PNL will share their perspective on the future of Europe in view of the European elections in May. The Summit will also showcase successful EU-funded projects in EPP-led regions and cities which have greatly benefitted EU citizens.

The Summit will adopt the EPP Regional and Local Manifesto, presenting the long-term vision of cities and regions for the future of the European project.

United together in Bucharest, EPP local and regional leaders will send a strong signal for a united and value-based Europe, closer to its citizens, withstanding populist pressures and delivering tangible results on the ground.

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