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Change The Oil Market, says Europe

  • June 20th, 2008
  • Posted by 7thmin

europ-council-brown-reduced-19608.jpgChanging the world oil market became the focus of an extended session of the EU leaders’ summit at Brussels on Thursday night (19.6.08) – displacing some of the wrangling over future government of the multi-national body.

DEMAND FOR “IMPROVEMENTS”

Senior British officials said “making the oil market function better” would demand better relations between producers and heavy buyers like the European Union, including more accurate tracking of stocks and projections of consumer demand.

The heads of government of the EU received proposals for Europe itself to reduce its dependence on imported energy, a major point of anxiety made worse in recent months with galloping price hikes.

Those included accelerated development of alternative fuels, and better use of fossil fuel, especially with more efficient motor vehicles.

The debate on energy, in the face of strengthening world oil prices, was timed to take place ahead of an international forum of oil producing states and major customers, at Jeddah, this weekend.

It outlasted the program for such meetings of the EU, set in previous years, running the summit into a late night session.

IRISH VOTE – WAIT UNTIL OCTOBER

The debate on energy supplies also edged out, for a time, concerns about the staggering plan for changes in Europe’s complex system of multinational government.

The 27 heads of government signalled they would cede “time and space” requested by Ireland, to put forward responses to the country’s defeat of a referendum proposal on EU decision-making.

Just over 53% of electors who voted, said “no” to the reform plan, the Lisbon Treaty, successfully blocking formal ratification of the change by their government – and preventing its coming into law for the EU as a whole.

Under the “time and space” proposal, the Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, would report back in October, to a new summit, to take place in France.

Despite concessions he might be asking for then, other European states are expected to continue with moves to ratify the Lisbon Treaty as it stands.

They are saying the treaty, negotiated over a long period of time, has been accepted by all 27 governments, has been ratified already by 19 of them, and so should be put in place.

Picture: Arrivals at Brussels summit: UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown

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