SNP On European Energy Investigation

08 February 2006
SNP Europe spokesman Alyn Smith MEP has today welcomed theannouncement by the European Commission that it is to commence "rigorous enforcement" of the EU's energy competition laws afterfinding evidence of anti-competitive behaviour by continental energycompanies.

An earlier investigation by the Commission into pricing and tradingpractices by energy companies across the EU found clear evidence thatthe single energy market is not functioning well, and that this isleading to higher prices for consumers.

A greater degree of transparency in the EU energy market should bringconsumer prices down.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Alyn Smith MEP, a member of the Parliament's Energy Committee added:

"I'm glad to hear the European Commission is finally doing somethingabout this. Consumers are having to pay prices that are hurting thepoorest hardest which is scandalous in an energy rich nation likeScotland.

"Many of the problems in the EU energy market stem from anticompetitivepractices of continental companies, and if the Scottishenergy market is a level playing field for foreign companies thentheir markets should be opened up to our companies on the sameterms."

"We have seen across Europe in recent months the extent to which wemust take energy seriously. In Ukraine and Georgia when Russia cut off their gas supplies the shock waves were felt across Europe.

We must concentrate on security of supply and maximising efficiencieswithin the EU market which will in the end deliver lower prices forconsumers.

"Thankfully Scotland is an energy rich nation, other countries arenot so lucky and the EU as a whole cannot afford any longer to havean energy market at the mercy of cartels.