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EU to step up efforts to ensure energy security
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The European Union (EU) will step up efforts to ensure security of energy supply for the region, which is a priority for the 27-member bloc, according to draft conclusions of the two-day EU summit.

The EU is to pursue with determination the diversification of energy sources, and develop crisis mechanisms to deal with temporary disruptions to supplies, said the draft document obtained by Xinhua on Thursday.

The EU will expedite the implementation of the European Energy Efficiency Action Plan and the Strategic Energy Technology Plan, and finalize the legislative package on the internal market in electricity and gas before the June 2009 elections of the European Parliament.

The EU will strengthen critical infrastructure, particularly trans-European energy transport networks and liquefied natural gas terminals. Particular attention will be paid to interconnections and to the connection of the most isolated European countries, to the interface of European networks with supply infrastructure, and to the need to diversify both sources and routes.

The EU summit, which opened on Wednesday, supported the European Commission's initiative of establishing a plan of action to speed up interconnections in the Baltic region. A schedule of its work will be drawn up before the end of this year.

According to the draft, the EU will also further develop its energy relations with producer and transit countries with a view to securing stability of supply and diversifying its energy sources and supply routes.

For this purpose, a meeting of the Caspian Sea countries and transit countries will be organized by the EU's Czech presidency next spring.

(Xinhua News Agency October 17, 2008)

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