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C 104/188 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 14. 4.

1999

Friday 15 January 1999

3. Export of renewable energy technologies

A4-0477/98

Resolution on the new prospects of the European Union in exporting technology and services for the
use of renewable energy

The European Parliament,

− having regard to Rule 148 of its Rules of Procedure,

− having regard to the Commission’s White Paper ‘An energy policy for the European Union’
(COM(95)0682),

− having regard to the Commission’s White Paper ‘Energy for the future − renewable sources of
energy’ (COM(97)0599),

− having regard to the Commission’s scenario ‘European energy to 2020’ (SEC(95)2283),

− having regard to the Commission’s 1997 annual energy report,

− having regard to its resolution of 4 July 1996 on a Community action plan for renewable energy
sources (1),

− having regard to its resolution of 14 November 1996 on the Commission communication on gas
supplies and future prospects in the European Community (COM(95)0478 − C4-0487/95) (2),

− having regard to its resolution of 19 November 1997 on the Communication from the Commission to
the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the
Regions on the energy dimension of climate change (COM(97)0196 − C4-0232/97) (3),

− having regard to its resolution of 18 December 1997 on the Commission communication ‘An overall
view of energy policy and actions’ (COM(97)0167 − C4-0205/97) (4),

− having regard to its resolution of 18 June 1998 on the Commission communication: Energy for the
future: renewable sources of energy − White Paper for a Community Strategy and Action Plan
(COM(97)0599 − C4-0047/98) (5),

− having regard to the report of the Committee on External Economic Relations and the opinions of the
Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy (A4-0477/98),

A. whereas 50% of the world’s population is not linked to a central electricity supply network; having
regard to the rapidly increasing global need for technology to utilise renewable energies, the
contribution which a cheap, decentralised energy supply from renewable sources could make to
social, cultural and economic development in the Third World, the new prospects for the solar, wind
and biomass energy industries and for new jobs in Europe thanks to exports to dynamic markets such
as Asia and South America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean region and Africa,

B. whereas stimulating the use of renewable energy sources could strengthen the EU’s general policy of
promoting a safe and environmentally acceptable supply of energy in these countries,

(1) OJ C 211, 22.7.1996, p. 27.


(2) OJ C 362, 2.12.1996, p. 291.
(3) OJ C 371, 8.12.1997, p. 77.
(4) OJ C 14, 19.1.1998, p. 178.
(5) OJ C 210, 6.7.1998, p. 215.
14. 4. 1999 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 104/189

Friday 15 January 1999

C. whereas fuel imports are an important factor in the debt crisis, and whereas, according to the White
Paper on Renewable Energy, the increasing need for energy in the developing countries could be met
from renewable energy sources,

D. having regard to the competitive advantages currently enjoyed by European producers thanks to high
technology and hence a more favourable export position in competition with the USA and Japan,
while at the same time noting a definite lack of effective export aid, in particular for small and
medium-sized enterprises,

E. having regard to the EU’s obligation to achieve the climate protection objectives of Kyoto and, in
conformity with the White Paper on renewable energies, to increase the share of renewables to cover
the EU’s energy requirements from the current level of 6% to 12% by the year 2010,

F. whereas the dependence of the Member States on energy imports will probably increase from the
current ca. 50% of energy consumption to 70% by the year 2020, and whereas measures to reduce this
dependence are therefore highly desirable from the point of view of security of supplies, long-term
cost considerations and with a view to avoiding political blackmail and, not least, to relieve the burden
on the EU’s balance of payments, as well as to relieve the balance of payments situations of third
countries dependent on imports,

G. whereas the market in renewable energy sources must be opened up, both within the EU and through
an export offensive and enhanced cooperation measures with third countries, and whereas it is
essential to implement rapidly the measures set out in the White Paper on Renewable Energy Sources,
because only with the aid of a functioning European internal market will it be possible to supply
European products successfully and credibly in third countries,

1. Calls on the Commission to draw up a long-term European strategy to encourage the export of
technology for the utilisation of renewable energies which will not only be trans-sectoral in nature but also
differentiated by sector and will include the entire ‘export chain’ from fostering an awareness amongst
entrepreneurs and decision-makers, market and cost-effectiveness studies, premarketing activities, trade
fairs and trade missions in target countries, education and training through to financing concept;

2. Calls for an active and effective ‘European Export Council for Renewable Energies’ to be given
funding commensurate with the future role of renewable energies, which will in particular improve the
competitive situation of small and medium-sized enterprises through effective start-up aid to help gain
access to third countries’ markets, encourage the foundation of export cooperatives among SMEs in the
EU and link these up with comparable establishments in the target countries;

3. Believes, in this context, that a convincing financing concept for correspondingly diverse support
measures in the areas of information, training of specialist staff in the countries of origin and target
countries, market access and marketing are essential, and that this financing should be borne jointly by the
EU and by industrial associations in the renewables sector;

4. Calls, furthermore, on the Commission, in the context of the EU partnership agreements with the
applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the MEDA cooperation programme and the new round
of negotiations under the Lomé Convention, and in the context of cooperation with third countries,
generally to encourage partner countries to give strategic priority to renewable energies in their energy,
environmental and development plans and to press for the elimination of customs barriers to renewables;

5. Believes it is sensible, with regard to new sales markets for environmentally compatible energy
technology, for the Union, in cooperation with its partner countries, to draw up detailed energy policy
studies and implementation plans for each country in accordance with needs;
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Friday 15 January 1999

6. Calls for specific target data to be identified in support of future export support measures, and for
action to ensure that there is separate budgetary provision for renewable energies in the European Union’s
energy support programmes, in Structural and ACP aid and in the PHARE, TACIS and MEDA support
programmes;

7. Believes that the current funding of the EU energy programmes is quite inadequate in view of the
importance, in terms of foreign, environmental and foreign trade policy, of promoting renewable energies,
and calls therefore for a significant increase in appropriations for export measures and energy policy
cooperation with third countries;

8. Calls in this connection for funding for special information services for the Third World via the
Internet, CD-ROMs and information and training workshops in countries of the Third World for
specialists with the European associations for renewable energies;

9. Explicitly supports the ‘Campaign for a take-off’ referred to in the White Paper on renewable
energies and stresses the importance of the quantified objectives contained in it; regrets, however, that too
little attention is paid to exports;

10. Expects prompt budgetisation of the one million solar roofs programme announced in the White
Paper − half for Third World countries − as a major impetus towards cheaper mass production of
photovoltaic systems and as an effective way of giving European products access to the export markets;

11. Calls on the Commission to draw up a study of the foreign trade implications for the EU of support
for renewable energies, in particular with regard to the long-term development of Member States’
balances of payments;

12. Calls in this connection for special support for small and medium-sized enterprises, through
support for information networks, trade fairs and educational and training measures for decision-makers,
in particular training seminars in Europe and third countries for energy experts and technical staff in the
partner countries, to improve the knowledge and acceptability of renewable energies and to promote
exports of European technology and joint development projects with third countries;

13. Calls for the Commission’s representatives, in promoting exports and preparing international
cooperation in third countries, to work closely with the European Investment Bank, the European
Development Fund, the foreign chambers of trade of individual Member States, energy supply firms and
European industrial associations;

14. Calls on the European Investment Bank to grant cheap loans in third countries for projects in the
field of renewable energy for SMEs below the existing minimum loan threshold, for example through
collective loans;

15. Believes it is essential to develop and to utilise appropriate innovative instruments for financing
projects for the use of renewable energies which reflect the decentralised nature of these technologies, for
example small-scale credits, the bringing together of projects as in the World Bank’s Finesse programme
or ‘debt for solar swaps’, as well as the leasing of renewable-based energy supply systems for private
households which lowers the threshold for investment or participation in projects for SMEs;

16. Considers that the potential benefits of the use of renewable energy through ‘debt for solar swaps’
will also be felt by the debtor countries, and that the EU Member States, where they are the donor
countries, can write off part of the debtor countries’ debts as a reward for programmes in the field of
renewable energy;
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Friday 15 January 1999

17. Calls for an EU foreign trade and development policy initiative programme on ‘solar energy for the
world − power for the world’ to supply electricity to rural areas of Third World countries with the aid of
photovoltaic systems, biomass and wind energy in order to satisfy the basic requirements of the population
of those areas who have no mains electricity, and hence to stem the flight from the land; stresses the
importance of cooperation agreements with third countries within the framework programme for research
and technological development for encouraging the development and transfer of European technologies
concerned with renewable energy;

18. Calls, in the context of cooperation agreements with third countries, for a pilot programme for the
transfer of necessary and appropriate technologies, e.g. in the field of biomass;

19. Calls for the local use of decentralised electricity generating plant based on biomass, small-scale
hydroelectric power, wind energy, geothermal energy, photovoltaic systems and solar heating, preferably
to be established through joint ventures between Europe and its partner countries;

20. Calls for close cooperation between the Union and third countries for the improved use of modern
solar technologies for buildings and for town planning;

21. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the
governments and parliaments of the Member States.

4. Impact of financial crisis on European industry

B4-0024, 0029, 0030, 0033, 0034 and 0036/99

Resolution on the economic and social impact of the global financial crisis on European industry

The European Parliament,

− having regard to its resolution of 17 September 1998 on the global economic and financial crisis (1),

− having regard to its resolution of 3 December 1998 on the world monetary and financial crises and
their effects on the economy of the European Union (2),

A. whereas the financial crisis which appeared in South-East Asia last year has since spread to other parts
of the world, especially Russia and Latin America, with disastrous effects on the economic and social
situation in many countries,

B. whereas this crisis has been characterised by the collapse of national currencies in several emerging
economies and the abandoning of their exchange rate peg to the US dollar,

C. whereas these exchange rate collapses have resulted in fiercer competition faced by European
industry due to growing imports from these regions, including sectors that have been undergoing
heavy restructuring and have suffered serious job losses in recent years,

D. whereas in the current international situation the European economy is perceived as an area of
economic stability, showing a large trade surplus with the rest of the world,

E. whereas the OECD has predicted a significant recovery of the South-East Asian economies for 1999,

F. whereas various industries, such as shipbuilding, iron and steel and textiles, are particularly affected
by these challenges,

(1) OJ C 313, 12.10.1998, p. 172.


(2) Minutes of that sitting, Part II, Item 12.