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Keynote: Economic, financial and social crisis – Is Europe capable of acting?

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Raiffeisensaal
Plenary
english language

Speakers

Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security of the Czech Republic, Prague Abstract Key Note
Where is the energy superpower Europe?

EU is the largest economic entity in the world. With half a billion - mostly affluent - citizens and half of the Top 10 world national economies, we should be calling the shots in the energy game. But we do not behave sensibly, at least not yet: we face our suppliers not united, but in one-on-one manner. And whether it is Spain with Algeria, or Italy with Libya, or Eastern Europe with Russia, we often end up in the corner.

What is needed? The same hard work we undertook with national borders and national currencies: surpassed them with better, more robust structure (with Schengen and euro). But for that to happen we need our public to realize we are in trouble - and for that, sadly, we will probably need to survive a few more crises and shocks. Because so far most of our half a billion citizens are living in yesterday´s world of cheap, available and politically unrelated energy. The sooner we realize how much the situation has changed, the better for us.

Vaclav BARTUSKA

Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security of the Czech Republic, Prague

 Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security, Czech Republic. Directly reporting to the Foreign Minister, with responsibility for oil and gas supplies to the country. During the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine in January 2009, when the Czech Republic held EU Presidency, he was involved in all negotiations with Russian, Ukrainian, and EU leadership - from Putin and Sechin to Tymoshenko and Yushchenko to Barroso and Piebalgs