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Wind Wire: New parliament

It will be business as usual for renewable energy matters in Brussels following the European elections in June, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

"The composition of the European parliament has not changed dramatically," says EWEA's Justin Wilkes, adding that renewable energy remains high on the European agenda. All three of the main parties - the Conservative European People's Party (EPP), the Party of European Socialists (PES) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) - suffered setbacks while the Greens and non-aligned groupings gained seats. Yet to be decided is the chairmanship of the parliamentary committees, although the major groups are likely to scoop up the most influential, such as environment and energy, and technology. Because of the high proportion of co-decision procedures in these areas they give a more powerful voice to the parliament. Meantime in the Commission, the EU's executive arm, moves are afoot to split the current Directorate General for Transport and Energy (DG TREN) into two separate directorates. This could happen in autumn this year. More uncertain is whether the new energy directorate will include climate change, currently the responsibility of DG Environment. Any movement to wrestle it away is being resisted by the environment commissioner.

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