The EU does a lot of consulting these days. As at this moment, 27 are open and a further 26 have already closed this year (this is the middle of February!). On one level, you could say, this is just keeping people busy and distracting them from other – and potentially more effective – work. Some of the consultations are very pre-structured, with tick-box responses required to questions that are far too complex for that approach.
Nonetheless, I think responding to those consultations where we have something to say, where our work factors into the issues considered, must have some chance of bringing our voice to the table.
This consultation, on the External Dimension of Energy Security gave us in the QCEA office the chance to reflect both on the need to address energy security from the point of view of ‘how do we reduce the amount we consume and therefore need to be/feel security’ and from the conflict/peacebuilding dimension.
The consultation also raised some difficult question for us; we had to grapple with discussions about nuclear energy, about biomass/biofuels and about the importance of the single market for the leverage the EU has in the global scene on these issues.
You can read the contribution we have made on our website here; it will also be published on the European Commission website where it will hopefully be read by others with an interest in these matters.
I would like to hear responses from Quakers and others to this response and to engage in wider discussion about the issues.