47th Prime Minister of Belgium (1999 - 2008), Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group and Member of the European Parliament from Belgium

But it is like the monster of Lochness, the Energy Union, when we have problems with Russia or our friends in Ukraine have problems with Russia and there is a fear there will be a lack of supply coming from the Russians then everybody is active and we start to develop White Papers, Green Papers about Energy Union and the need for that.

Once the problems are a little bit behind this or we fi nd an agreement and the tensions are lower than the Energy Union disappears immediately from the registry of the European Union. So my plead today is let’s take this seriously, the Energy Union. And the Energy Union beats in my opinion two takes: that’s full grids in European Union and second one common purchase strategy, purchase policy no longer in fact depending from individual choices my twenty-eight individual member-states because you are just not using all your power if you do that not together with one market, with one discussion and purchase policy. So breaking national borders, liberalizing them, unifying them that is the message also in the energy as exactly the same message that I want to give in the digital, telecom, where we have exactly the same problem. I want to give you one example, the young company for example starting with the new application of internet and using mobile for that well in Europe needs twenty-eight authorizations, needs in Europe one hundred twenty - one hundred twenty fi ve agreements with mobile operates before they can launch it out. If you go to US you have one authorization of FCC and you make three agreements with three mobile companies. Swedish company that could not roll out fully in Europe and went to the US and other moment that they had a success there and came back to EU. And that is also the reason why Apple, Google, Amazon and whatever other big high-tech internet company is or American or Asian because we do not have today the Digital Union we desperately need. And it is exactly the same for the Energy Union we desperately need. So my conclusion and my message today should be is what we need is the courage and the vision as we got in the past with the commission. President of the commission that is for me still the example that was Jacques Delors in the 1980s. He at that moment was confronted not with US skepticism as today but with Euro sclerosis maybe you remember that. That was the name we used in the eighties, that was the period of stagfl ation where the European Union had huge problems at that moment with low fi gures and the example was Japan at that moment, every year there was a new book that was published.’’