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04 February 2011

Energy summit runs low on sparks

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European Union leaders are holding their first ever energy summit today (4 February) but the policy agenda looks likely to take a backseat to pressing issues such as Egypt and the eurozone debt crisis

"Much of the meeting's agenda strays away from the prepared conclusions to talk about economics and foreign relations, apparently without leaders recognising the link," said Jason Anderson, spokesman for the World Wildlife Fund.

"It is essential for Europe to reduce our dependence on expensive, polluting, insecure energy sources."

EU leaders' attentions however, seem focused elsewhere.

With Egypt, differences over how to balance the EU's goals of stability and democratic change look likely to be papered over with talk of an "orderly transition" of power.

Northern member states are thought to lean more towards the "change" part of the equation, southern countries to "stability". But both positions could be overtaken by events.

Intense discussions are also expected over how to make the European Financial Stability Facility more effective, and how to free up the €440 billion of funds that are available to member states. Results though, may be inconclusive.


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