Marek Suski, Chair of the Polish Sejm’s Committee on Energy, Climate and State Assets, hosted a Video Conference for the Committees on Energy of the Parliaments of the Visegrad Countries on 9 June 2021. The Hungarian National Assembly was represented at the virtual meeting by Chair Erik Bánki and Vice-Chair Sándor Hadházy of the Committee on Economics. The Polish Sejm and Senate, the National Council of the Slovak Republic and the Hungarian National Assembly were represented by Committee Chairs, the Senate of the Czech Republic was represented by Committee Vice-Chairs, while the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic had no representatives in attendance.
The virtual meeting was opened by Ryszard Terlecki, Deputy Marshal of the Sejm, by highlighting the importance of consultations in specialised committees and cooperation in relation to the ongoing discussions on the future of the EU. The meeting’s first session focused on the key topic of the energy transition in the Visegrad Group countries, with discussions revolving around the issues of nuclear energy as a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels; the share of renewable energy sources in national energy mixes; the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of the energy transition; and prospects for joint action.
In his contribution, Erik Bánki thanked the current Polish V4 Presidency for its efforts and went on to present the priorities of Hungary’s energy strategy for 2030. He stressed the importance of nuclear energy and the development of renewables. He also emphasised the usefulness of V4 cooperation in production and balancing. He expressed support for keeping the opportunities offered by natural gas, underlining the need for the improvement and better coordination of the electricity grid, also mentioning the potential for a hydrogen strategy.
The second session was called “Energy security of the Visegrad Group countries –development of cross-border gas networks” and involved discussions on the construction of the North-South Gas Corridor and Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. In his contribution, Sándor Hadházy stressed the importance of joint action by the V4 Countries and the key role of natural gas in meeting the energy needs of Hungary and the region as a whole. He pointed out that, even with the progressive decarbonisation of the sector, natural gas will remain an important transitional source of energy for the next 20 years. Participants at the meeting agreed that further coordination on common positions and joint actions are needed.