- A lack of leadership threatens energy policy
Last November, the European commissioner for energy, Günther Oettinger, met over breakfast with ministers from the EU states through which the ‘Southern Corridor’ pipeline projects (Nabucco, ITGI, TAP, SEEP) are planned to run, with one goal: to discuss how to end the fighting between the projects, their supporters and national governments. The conclusion was a change in policy towards the Southern Corridor which would bring Caspian gas to Europe via Turkey and Nabucco. The Commission decided that it would no longer support any Southern Corridor pipeline project inside the borders of the EU and would accept whoever secures supply contracts from Azerbaijan. This new policy is a reversal of the drive for an external energy policy based on the spirit of solidarity between member states, a spirit needed if we are to secure our supplies and benefit from a competitive internal energy market. It divides energy policy into an internal and external dimension, and restricts the Commission’s role to the latter dimension alone. The Commission will work with Turkey, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to push European interests, but for the rest, the market will decide who builds the pipelines within the Union’s border. Up to that point, Nabucco was the only pipeline planned to run the entire distance of the corridor. It had a transparent inter-governmental agreement based on internal-market principles. Indeed, Nabucco symbolised the ‘Europeanisation’ of energy policy and solidarity between the member states in external projects. Today, this EU flagship project has all but disappeared. The adoption of this new division of competence is the de facto removal of Commission support for Nabucco. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Monday (23 April) that Nabucco is “in trouble”. It is, though it is not yet dead. If Nabucco wins all or part of the gas from the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan, there is still hope. Still, it will not be the same project as was originally envisioned as the symbol of united external energy action. The central issue is that the Commission has abandoned its leadership role. The major oil and gas companies will have much of the final say, especially with their national governments. How will the Commission ensure that these many actors work toward the common European good? It is fully possible for energy companies to push their own interests while respecting the rules of the internal market (as the effects of the third energy package, for example, have demonstrated). But the Southern Corridor pipelines are projects whose scope and significance go beyond the EU’s own market, and the Commission has now left itself with very little control over them. Relying on competition alone could lead to the victory of Gazprom’s South Stream project. Such an increase in the Russian monopolist’s power in Europe undermines energy security – the very goal that underlies the whole concept of a Southern Corridor. This lack of a leadership role, if extended beyond the Southern Corridor policy, would further weaken the Commission’s stance in battles of national interests versus collective EU energy goals, such as energy solidarity. If the Commission only regulates internal-market rules, and does not use its moral authority, it will give a free hand to member states to act without regard to Union policy. It risks the failure of the Europeanisation of energy policy of which the commissioner has so often spoken. By weakening its position internally, the Commission is jeopardising its position externally and its ability to shape external energy policy. The abandonment of Nabucco and this change in the Southern Corridor policy is a gamble with the EU’s entire energy strategy. It threatens to move us even further from the objectives of security, solidarity and a Europe that speaks with one voice. The Commission may have lost the first round of this battle, but it must not give up the fight for a true European Energy Community. It must not surrender the future of EU energy policy to national interests alone. Otherwise, the Commission risks losing the power to shape energy policy that it seemed to have gained with the Lisbon treaty. Lena Kolarska-Bobinska is a Polish centre-right MEP and a member of the Parliament’s committee on industry, research and energy.
- Canada now in low risk travel bubble for Grenada
Ten days after accepting the first flight from Air Canada since the country reopened the Maurice Bishop International Airport for international commercial passengers, Grenada has announced that returning nationals passengers from Canada will no longer require mandatory quarantine. CMO says Saint Lucia at critical stage of COVID-19 outbreak “The public is hereby advised that after careful consideration and analysis of the current threat and risk of COVID-19 transmission in the Commonwealth of Canada, the Ministry of Health, Grenada has taken the decision to place Canada in its Low-Risk Travel Category/Zone,” said a news release from the Ministry of Health that was disseminated via the Government Information Service. COVID-19 Update: Protocol for air travel to BarbadosVisitors to Barbados, once commercial flights resume on July 12, are being strongly advised to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test at an accredited or certified facility, or laboratory before travelling. The advice was given in recently issued public health protocols for air travel into Barbados, in response to the COVID-19…July 9, 2020In “General”Saint Lucia records first COVID-19 case in over a monthStory via CMC – St. Lucia recorded its first positive case for more than a month while Jamaica and Haiti recorded deaths from the coronavirus (COVID-19) over the last 24 hours. The health authorities in Jamaica said six additional COVID-19 related deaths and 196 new cases had been recorded in…October 12, 2020In “General”St. Kitts And Nevis Confirms Two COVID-19 CasesNATIONAL STATEMENT ON COVID-19 By the Hon Wendy Colleen Phipps Minister of State with Responsibility for Health March 25, 2020 In my capacity as Minister of State with Responsibility for Health, it is my duty to inform you that as of 11:03 pm on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the Federation…March 25, 2020In “CARICOM”Share this on WhatsApp Air Canada has a weekly Monday flight to Grenada. Oct 16, 2020 “This means that returning nationals and visitors from Canada are expected to present a negative PCR test result taken no more than seven days before travel to Grenada, but are not required to be quarantined upon arrival,” said the release which explained that all passengers will be required to present a completed health declaration form, a waiver of liability agreement form and a public health locator form upon arrival. The US is currently classified as a red zone or hot spots for COVID-19. More deaths from COVID-19 recorded in CARICOM countries,… In the meantime, persons from the US whose final destination is Grenada is allowed to in transit via Barbados or use charter services. You may be interested in… Countries in the low-risk category are those that have less than 20 cases per 100,000 population, therefore, health officials felt that in keeping with our local protocols this change has become necessary. Those from wider Caricom will have to spend 48 hours in quarantine once a second PCR conduct on the island is negative. Persons arriving from high-risk areas will be required to show a negative PCR test immediately upon arrival and spend 14 days in quarantine with the option of the last four days in-home quarantine. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… The other classified for destination are medium risk/green zones or high risk/red zones. Persons from medium risk countries which includes some European Union and commonwealth states will have to presence a negative PCR upon arrival and conduct a second PCR immediately upon arrival. The quarantine period will be for ten days, but a negative result within 48 hours or within the first seven days will result in home quarantine with an agreement to allow a geo-fencing wristwatch for monitoring purposes. A passenger’s travel history will also be used to determine the need for a second test and or a quarantine period. “In the event that it is thought necessary to do a PCR Test on arrival, the passenger will be quarantined in a Government approved facility until the result is available and shows negative. High-risk countries are the USA and any other territories where there are more than 90 cases per 100,000 population. “Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, therefore all concerned are encouraged to continue to check our travel guidance and advisories,” the ministry warns. Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC Oct 16, 2020 Oct 15, 2020 Currently, COVID-19 health protocol exempts persons from the OECS and Barbados from mandatory quarantine once a negative PCR test result dated no less than seven days before the travel date is presented at the Port of entry. The decision was made as Canada has had around 14 cases per 100,000 population in the last 14 days. The Government is targeting September as the time in which it will allow commercial air traffic from airports in the United States. The advisory for passengers is being kept under constant review. Oct 15, 2020 St. Lucia records more cases of COVID