What is the CEEP (Central Europe Energy Partners) and who do they actually represent?
Ahead of the 3rd European Coal Days, which will take place in the European Parliament from 13-15 November event the Polish and Czech Climate Coalitions, (i.e. umbrella organisations for Polish and Czech NGOs working on climate and energy issues) together with Friends of the Earth Hungary would like to share some background information on the Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP), the organisation co-hosting this event.
CEEP presents itself as an association of the energy industry representing all newer EU member states. This is misleading. The CEEP is a lobby organisation, initiated by the Polish state controlled oil concern LOTOS S.A.. More then 70% of CEEP members come from Poland, and more then 50% of members are Polish state-owned companies: power producers, mining and coal exporting companies, transmission system operator and concerns focused on crude production. Furthermore, all executives and board members of CEEP are Polish. Therefore it only represents energy intensive companies in Poland and cannot even be seen as a representation of the Polish industry which is much broader and also comprises dynamically developing innovative companies.
Other CEEP members are Tauron and Kulczyk Investments, which both plan significant investments in new coal generation in Poland, and state-owned Kompania Weglowa, the largest coal mining company in Europe. Not surprisingly, CEEP promotes positions on European climate and energy issues beneficial to these industries in Poland, using the wider geographical reference to create the appearance of broader support.
Based on CEEP-commissioned research by Ernst & Young, CEEP claims that the EU must develop a separate energy policy for CEE countries because they have a different energy and economic profile from EU-15. This is again misleading. Energy mixes and challenges in Central and East European countries differ significantly. In contrast to coal-dependent Poland, many CEE member states generate no electricity from coal (Lithuania, Latvia), or just a small fraction (Slovakia and Hungary). Romania produces less power from coal than Denmark and Bulgaria less than Greece.
Different treatment of newer member states, as promoted by CEEP, may lead to delayed energy investments and in consequence to a two-speed Europe with an innovative power system in EU-15 and ageing and inefficient energy infrastructure in CEE region. The Polish and Czech Climate Coalitions together with Friends of the Earth Hungary therefore believe that CEEP acts against the interests of the society, environment and economy of their countries.