Sunday, 28 September 2008

EU: Economic crisis management VI

Energy supply, severe economic difficulties and solidarity have the makings of an interesting testing ground for the European Union in the years ahead.

The previous posting mentioned some UK references to Article 122 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). We now turn to legislative materials from Sweden and Finland as well as some commentaries in book form.

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Sweden

The consultation paper ’Lissabonfördraget’ was the first official Swedish description of the Lisbon Treaty amendments, and it is available at:

http://www.regeringen.se/content/1/c6/09/49/81/107aa077.pdf

It was followed by the Swedish government’s draft ratification bill ‘Lagrådsremiss – Lissabonfördraget’, published 29 May 2008:

http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/5676/a/106277

The draft bill was given a green light by the Council on Legislation (Lagrådet):

http://www.lagradet.se/yttranden/Lissabonfordraget.pdf

The latest official government view, and now my standard reference for Sweden, is the ratification bill, with the Swedish parliament (Riksdagen) expected to decide on approval in late autumn, probably November (Regeringens proposition 2007/08:168 Lissabonfördraget; 3 July 2008):

http://www.regeringen.se/content/1/c6/10/84/02/8c96cf3e.pdf

Economic and monetary policy (23.2 Ekonomisk och monetary politik) is discussed on pages 180 to 185. The Swedish government explains what Article 100 TFEU (ToL) changes, highlighting the spirit of solidarity and the area of energy supply (on page 182):

“I nu gällande EG-fördrag finns en bestämmelse om att rådet kan besluta om lämpliga åtgärder med hänsyn till det ekonomiska läget, särskilt om det uppstår allvarliga försörjningsproblem i fråga om vissa varor. Genom Lissabonfördraget införs bestämmelser om att åtgärderna ska beslutas i en anda av solidaritet mellan medlemsstaterna och när det gäller allvarliga försörjningsproblem i fråga om vissa varor framhålls särskilt energiområdet (artikel 100 i EUF-fördraget).”

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By the way, EU citizens, including proponents of the philosophy of autarky, may note that the Swedish ratification bill mentions ‘energi’ (energy) 98 times (admittedly including all references to the European Atomic Energy Community) and ‘solidaritet’ (solidarity) 41 times.

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Finland

The Finnish ratification bill, ‘Hallituksen esitys Eduskunnalle Euroopan unionista tehdyn sopimuksen ja Euroopan yhteisön perustamissopimuksen muuttamisesta tehdyn Lissabonin sopimuksen hyväksymisestä ja laiksi sen lainsäädännön alaan kuuluvien määräysten voimaansaattamisesta’ (HE 23/2008 vp), discusses economic and monetary policy (Talous- ja rahapolitiikka) on pages 209 to 214.

The ratification bill briefly describes the changes to Article 100 TFEU (ToL), renumbered Article 122 TFEU, namely the spirit of solidarity and the energy area. Otherwise the Article is essentially the same as Article III-180 of the Constitutional Treaty and Article 100 TEC (page 210):

”100 artiklaan (uusi 122 artikla), joka antaa neuvostolle poikkeusvaltuudet taloudellisissa erityistilanteissa, on lisätty vuoden 2007 HVK:ssa päätöksenteon tapahtuvan ”yhteisvastuun”
hengessä ja silloin kun tavaroiden saatavuudessa ilmenee vaikeuksia ”ennen kaikkea energia-alalla”. Muilta osin määräys vastaa perustuslakisopimuksen III-180 artiklaa ja SEY 100 artiklaa.”

The Finnish ratification bill is available at:

http://www.finlex.fi/fi/esitykset/he/2008/20080023.pdf


The Swedish language version of the ratification bill ‘Regeringens proposition till Riksdagen med förslag om godkännande av Lissabonfördraget om ändring av fördraget om Europeiska unionen och fördraget om upprättandet av Europeiska gemenskapen och till lag om sättande i kraft av de bestämmelser i fördraget som hör till området för lagstiftningen’ (RP 23/2008 rd), makes the same remarks under ’Ekonomisk och monetär politik’ on Article 100 TFEU (ToL), the future Article 122 TFEU, on page 213.

The ratification bill in Swedish can be accessed at:

http://www.finlex.fi/sv/esitykset/he/2008/20080023.pdf

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France

Étienne de Poncins offers a few general comments on EU economic governance and budget matters, ‘La gouvernance économique et les questions budgétaires’ in his ‘Le traité de Lisbonne en 27 clés’ (Éditions Lignes de Repères, 2008), pages 245─251.

Austria

‚Der Vertrag von Lissabon‘, by Klemens H. Fischer (Nomos, Stämpfli & Verlag Österreich, 2008), traces the amendments Article by Article; here on pages 263─264. His comment mentions „Energiebereich“ but he does not highlight the new reference to „im Geiste der Solidarität zwischen den Mitgliedstaaten“ in his comment, although it appears in the text of the provision.

France

François-Xavier Priollaud and David Siritzky offer a short introductory explanation on economic and monetary policy (pages 246 and 247) and on economic policy coordination, including the treaty amendments (pages 248 to 250) in their book ‘Le traité de Lisbonne – Commentaire, article par article, des nouveaux traités européens (TUE et TFUE)’ (La Documentation française, Paris, 2008).

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Readers, who want to look at the larger picture of EU energy politics and policies at the treaty level, can turn their attention from Article 122 TFEU with its fallback provisions on economic crisis management to the Lisbon Treaty’s TFEU Part Three Title XXI Energy.

Sweden

Beyond the treaty level, in an even broader context, we point to the upcoming topical seminar ‘The Politicisation of Energy Security’, hosted by SIEPS, the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies. In Stockholm 9 October 2008, “SIEPS will present the analysis EU Energy Policy in a Supply-constrained World written by Jacques de Jong and Coby van der Linde. The analysis covers the fundamental changes that are taking place in world energy markets and explores the consequences of tight markets and the return of government in energy matters and concludes with outlining the new challenges to EU energy policy-making.”

For additional information, go to:

http://www.sieps.se/sem/2008/sem_1009b/sem_1009b.en.html

The Netherlands

CIEP, the highly active Clingendael International Energy Programme, where the authors of the forthcoming report work, offers a host of energy related publications and activities:

http://www.clingendael.nl/ciep/

The Europa web site

The introductory web page on European Union activities concerning energy contains a number of links to the interested reader:

http://europa.eu/pol/ener/index_en.htm



Ralf Grahn