Centre for European Energy Strategy

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Background

The Centre for European Energy Strategy (CERES sprl) was founded 2005 by Dr. Rolf Linkohr, member of the EU Parliament 1979-2004 and a special advisor to Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs until 2007, Fritz Gautier, former executive director of Rheinenergie and Ruhrgas, former member of the Bundestag , and Dietmar Dürr, Managing Director of Energy Policy Consultants Inagendo GmbH. Linkohr serves as CERES President. CERES's Brussels Office is maintained by Secretary General Isabelle Babak.

Europe Invests In Nuclear Energy

In November 2006, CERES organised a Berlin based conference "Europe Invests Again in Nuclear Energy". Speakers included, amongst others:

  • Bruno Lescoeur, Senior Executive Vice President, EDF,
  • Walter Hohlefelder, President, German Atomic Forum, Berlin
  • Veijo Ryhänen, Corporate Advisor, TVO, Olkiluoto
  • Lord Jack Cunningham of Felling, Honorary and legislative Chair of TANEF
  • Chris Anastasi, Senior Environmental Advisor, British Energy

In March 2008, CERES's French partner Confrontations Europe held a follow-up conference in Paris, again discussing the future of nuclear endeavors in Europe.

A Clear Case of A Conflict of Interest

According to the research organisation Corporate Europe Observatory that has examined nuclear lobbying at the EU: “Linkohr’s double functions as a lobbying consultant working for energy firms and the Energy Commissioner’s special advisor causes very significant conflict of interests".

CEO continues: "CERES’ corporate clients can be expected to receive advice from Mr Linkohr and his colleagues about how to advance their commercial interests vis-a-vis EU energy policies. Providing such advice and analysis is likely to be Mr Linkohr’s main source of income. At the same time, Linkohr is supposed to provide the Energy Commissioner with advice about how to shape EU energy policies to serve the public interest".

"The mixing of roles also seems to be at odds with the European Commission’s staff regulations, which apply ‘by analogy’ to the Commissioners’ advisors. The staff regulations provide that 'An official shall not without the permission of the appointing authority accept from any government or from any other source outside the institution to which he belongs any honour, decoration, favour, gift or payment of any kind whatever'. According to these rules, moreover, 'an official shall carry out his duties and conduct himself solely with the interests of the Communities in mind'. It is hard to imagine that providing commercial lobbying consultancy services for energy firms can be convincingly be combined with providing the Energy Commissioner with unbiased advice”. [1]

In February 2007, Linkohr was dismissed from his position as a special advisor. [2]

Contact Details

C.E.R.E.S sprl
Avenue de Tervueren 168 boîte 11
1150 Bruxelles
Belgium
Tel. + 32 2 775 31 79
Fax. + 32 2 771 41 04
email: office AT ceres-energy.org
Website: http://www.ceres-energy.org/en_index.htm

Resources

References

  1. Corporate Europe Observatory, The Conflicting Interests of Rolf Linkohr: Energy Industry Lobbyist and Special Adviser to the EU Energy Commissioner, Briefing Paper, January 2007.
  2. Andrew Bounds, "Brussels Special Advisers to be Named", Financial Times, February 18, 2007.

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