In her first EU address as First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon will make clear that continuing membership is vital to the Scottish economy – and that positive changes can be made from within the existing treaty.
Challenging the Prime Minister to make a positive case for EU membership and to set out his proposals for reform, the First Minister will highlight a number of key priorities for Scotland including:
- More local decision making on health and social policies to allow countries to target key issues
- Allowing localised discretion in implementing regulation – as in the revised Common Fisheries Policy – to make policies more proportionate and less burdensome, and
- Greater focus on key areas such as developing the single market across the EU in Energy.
Meanwhile, SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies has been appointed Vice-President of Eurelectric – the pan European energy association.
Eurelectric represents the common interests of the electricity industry across the EU, as well as affiliates and associates on several other continents. It has over 30 members representing the electricity industry in 32 countries.
Phillips-Davies will support new Eurelectric President Antonio Mexia, former Portuguese Energy Minister and chief executive of EDP, and work alongside fellow Vice-President Jean-Bernard Levy, Chairman of EDF.
He said: “With the start of a new Commission, the publication of the Energy Union, the Climate Change Conference in Paris and the forthcoming EU referendum in the UK, it’s an important time to engage in the debates about how we can deliver a market that provides secure and low-carbon electricity supplies and meets the expectations of our customers.”
Additionally, SSE has agreed a significant expansion of its long-term gas supply contract with Norway’s state oil and gas producer – Statoil – in light of diminishing production of UK N. Sea gas.
Starting on 1 October 2015, the gas supplied from the six year deal, originally announced in October 2014, will increase from 0.5 million therms of gas per day to 2.5 million therms per day. The additional volume represents approximately 3% of Great Britain’s gas demand and around 25% of SSE’s. The Perth-based company said the security of increased supply would be good for consumers.