Controversial Dutch nominee's position on energy policy 'wholly
inadequate, evasive and needing substantial further clarification' -
European Leader Ian Hudghton
MEP has described European Commission nominee Nelly
Kroes' response to his questioning of her commitment to renewable energy
as 'wholly inadequate, evasive and needing substantial further
clarification'. Mr Hudghton sits on the committee of Euro-MPs that today
spent four hours grilling the Dutch nominee for the post of Europe's
powerful trade commissioner.
Questioning Mrs Kroes, Ian Hudghton MEP asked if the Dutch Commissioner
designate approved of her predecessor's decision to allow six billion
Euros (over 4bn pounds) in state aid to nuclear operator British Energy.
The Scottish Euro-MP then pressed Mrs Kroes' on her commitment to
promoting renewable energy, asking for a commitment to boosting renewable
energies in place of nuclear.
from Brussels, Ian Hudghton
disappointed though not particularly surprised with Mrs Kroes' answers.
Her position on renewable energy in particular was wholly inadequate,
evasive and needing substantial further clarification before we can
consider giving her our support. She completely dodged my question on the
massive subsidy being doled out to prop up British Energy and clearly
wanted to avoid saying anything to upset big business interests in the
field of nuclear energy.
pressed for a commitment to make renewable energy a far higher priority
for the European Commission. Whilst I'm pleased that Mrs Kroes accepted
that there is a case to take environmental concerns into account in
competition policy, she again avoided the specifics. This comes at a time
when New Labour is talking about a pricing regime for electricity that
would penalise countries like Scotland. If Europe is really interested in
clean, affordable energy then what we need are changes in competition
rules to make this feasible.
now be writing to Mrs Kroes seeking clarification on her answers and clear
assurances that she will support renewable energy before we can consider
will give an opinion later next month on the suitability of European
Commissioners for their designated jobs and will vote on whether or not to
accept the proposed new EU Commission on 27 October.