Ireland South MEP Seán Kelly has been appointed energy spokesman for the European People’s Party (EPP) – the largest political group in the European Parliament.
Mr Kelly will have special responsibility for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and his appointment comes as the EU prepares to strengthen its energy supply and security.
Speaking this week, Mr Kelly said although the global gas market has been developing rapidly, it is a cause for concern that 41 pc of EU gas imports last year were from Russia.
A supporter of the development of the Shannon LNG terminal in Ballylongford, Mr Kelly highlighted Ireland’s role in helping to secure Europe’s future gas supply.
He says utilising LNG would allow the EU to buy and sell piped gas from Russian and global markets, reaping price benefits in the process.