Discours prononcé par S.A.R. le Grand-Duc à l’occasion du 5ème sommet "Énergie et Économie" du Conseil Atlantique, à Istanbul le 21 novembre 2013



Visite d’État de LL.AA.RR. le Grand-Duc et la Grande-Duchesse en République de Turquie, du 18 au 22 novembre 2013

Luxembourg, the EU and Turkey: long-term energy partnerships… and beyond

Mr. President, Ministers,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to address such a distinguished audience on the occasion of my first State Visit to Turkey. Luxembourg has always followed the discussions of the Atlantic Council Summits with great interest. We highly value the precious insights shared in this forum in the fields of energy, economics, or geopolitics.

I would like to commend the Atlantic Council for its decision to organise these Summits in Istanbul. What better place could have been chosen, than this grate city bridging two continents, in a country which is a key player on the international scene, and has a vital part to play in Europe’s energy policies.

To emphasise Koffi Anan one could say that there can be no development without energy. Coal, as a new source of energy, was at the heart of the industrial revolution in the 19th and 20th century. Which, in turn, made our societies become what they are today. Meeting the world’s ever growing demand for energy, in a safe, efficient and responsible manner, is one of the most pressing challenges we are all facing. To ensure this task in today’s geopolitical situation will be the center of your discussions during the next two days.

Mr. President, Ministers,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to use this opportunity to say a few words about

  • my country’s energy policies,
  • how they relate to the EU’s long-term energy strategy,
  • and the role played by Turkey.

[The challenges faced by Luxembourg’s energy policy]

Luxembourg is heavily dependant on energy imports. Our national energy policy pursues two priorities. First and foremost, we aim to increase energy efficiency. Second, we support the development of renewable energy. The main challenge the future holds for us is the implementation of a more sustainable energy policy, while at the same time guaranteeing competitive energy prices to our consumers.

[The EU’s long-term energy strategy]

These objectives closely tie in with the European Union’s energy policy priorities, which are to achieve secure, affordable and sustainable supplies in the long run.

The EU continues to be at the forefront of the climate change battle. Recent events in the Philippines have provided yet another dramatic illustration for the urgency of this fight. The 2015 Paris Conference - at the moment when Luxembourg will hold the EU Presidency- is due to adopt a new international climate change agreement. My country intends to strongly reaffirm the EU’s ambitions to fight climate change on this occasion.

Today, the Union is at a critical juncture: the internal energy market is about to be achieved. We are progressing swiftly towards the aims of 20% renewable energy, 20% additional energy efficiency and 20% greenhouse gas reductions by 2020. Now the EU needs to look at what to do next, and determine how to ensure its long-term energy security in the context of the unconventional gas and oil revolutions that are unfolding.

[Why Turkey is indispensable to the EU’s energy security]

Turkey has a major role to play here. Because of its geostrategic location, it is a potential energy hub and transport corridor at the crossroads between the main energy producers and the most energy-hungry countries of the world. Europe needs Turkey in order to reduce its dependence on a few suppliers. The Southern Gas Corridor should enable the EU to bring about a much-needed diversification of supplies.

Last year, the European Commission and Turkey agreed to deepen their energy relations in various areas, such as the promotion of renewable energy, clean energy technologies, market integration, or global and regional energy cooperation. Luxembourg stands ready to work together with Turkey wherever it can, notably by exchanging know-how on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.

Mr. President, Ministers,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

To conclude, I would like to stress that the EU does not only need Turkey in the field of energy. Turkey is a major player on the international political scene. It is a bridge for the EU towards the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Northern Africa. It is also a key economic partner, with a dynamic population and a thriving economy. For all these reasons, the EU cannot do without Turkey. This is why my country supports Turkey’s aspirations to become a member of the European Union, and warmly welcomes the resumption of accession negotiations earlier this month.

I thank you for your attention and wish you an interesting and fruitful discussion over the next two days.