The North Sea Commission president Tom-Christer Nilsen was invited to speak at a European Parliament seminar on energy union 18th March. The context of the seminar was the energy union.  The energy union is aiming at tackling the energy “trilemma” of security of supply, sustainability and affordability.  By establishing a real internal energy market we will allow free flow of energy across borders and secure supply in every EU country, for every citizen. Cables are needed to realise our energy potential, by literally plugging in member states. An integrated North Sea grid is fundamental to realise our energy potential.

The event was co-hosted by the conservative MEP Ian Duncan from Scotland and the green MEP Bas Eickhout from the Netherlands. By organizing the seminar together they wanted to underline that energy and infrastructure are important issues independent of geographical or political borders. In addition to the North Sea Commission, Dong Energy and Director at DG Energy Marie Connelly were invited to speak. The meeting had a great turn out, giving the North Sea Commission a good opportunity to reach out to a large audience at European level.

While there is a clear consensus on the importance of a North Sea grid, there are challenges concerning regulatory issues and cost reduction. Furthermore a clear political commitment from national level is needed to speed up the process. There are high expectations to the Dutch presidency in 2016.