EU ‘structural shift’ due to Putin’s war: Towards military and energy independence

“Some people think that European sovereignty is a slogan or a French fantasy. Now everyone understands that this is a priority,” he declared Emmanuel Macron At the final press conference of the Versailles summit. There, the heads of state and government of 27 countries were formally identified. Geopolitical Subversion In just fifteen days, the EU has experienced Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.exist New context for insecurity on the African continent, European leaders committed to a decisive move towards independence on military, energy and food issues. A “structural shift” in EU history.

“We have realized how much our food, energy, defense is a matter of sovereignty. We can cooperate because we want to be a great power open to the world, but we want to choose our partners and we don’t want to depend on them …that’s sovereignty. Not protectionism, not closing, but staying open and not dependent”, insisted Macron, who hosts Versailles as the EU’s rotating presidency.

“In the face of increasing instability, strategic competition and security threats, we have decided to take greater responsibility for our safety and security. Take new decisive steps to build our European sovereigntyreduce our dependence and design new growth and investment models for 2030”, read the Versailles Declaration. a piece of text unanimously agreed that “will go down in the annals of European projectsas pointed out by Council President Charles Michel.

French President Emmanuel Macron at Versailles summit final press conference


However, European leaders disagree How to finance this giant leap in integration. During the summit, Macron proposed to create a new fund by issuing joint debt –Follow in the footsteps of next-generation recovery programs– Will work on defense, energy and climate transitions.A supported initiative Mario Draghifrom Pedro Sanchez and Christine Lagardebut this immediately clashed with “thrift” and German rejection.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson said sarcastically: “Some countries always find new arguments for why they shouldn’t pay their bills.”No plans on the table, because in the Netherlands we always say that the next generation is an extraordinary initiative. Dutchman Mark Rutte said there was still a lot of work to be done under existing recovery plans. Joint bond issuance has not yet been put on the agenda”, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Monday.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the Versailles summit this Friday


Faced with this radical rejection, Macron himself was forced to pick up the cable. “A good strategy is to agree on goals, and then the paperwork will follow. If we start by discussing the paperwork, Knowing our department, we usually don’t progress and waste a lot of time”, the French president has admitted. Sanchez did not even mention the new fund in the press conference.

Energy Independence in 2027

On the energy front, leaders have set themselves the goal of achieving full independence from Russia by 2027. The EU imports about 40% of its natural gas consumption from Russia, and 27% oil and 46% coal. Addiction prevents Brussels from enforcing the blanket embargo on Russian energy products that Washington and London have decided to impose.

“We have to get rid of fossil fuels in Russia as soon as possible. We are in a very difficult situation. On the one hand we have these very severe financial sanctions, but on the other hand We support and even finance the Russian war by buying natural gasoil and other fossil fuels from Russia,” said Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

Brussels will present a detailed plan in mid-May to achieve this independence by 2027, backed by the necessary national and European resources.Meanwhile, European leaders pledged to take Short-term measures to curb current runaway energy prices. Issues that have not yet reached agreement among the twenty-seven countries. Government President Pedro Sanchez will visit Europe next week to seek a consensus to end “Putin’s economic blackmail.”

Ursula von der Leyen, Emmanuel Macron and Charles Michel admiring the Palace of Versailles before a press conference


in the case of the chairman of the committee, Ursula Von der Leyenannounced end of March plan “presenting Options to limit contagion effects Natural gas prices increase”. In the second phase, in mid-May, the community executive committee will also approve “options to optimize the design of the electricity market to better support the green transition.”

Community executives initially received lukewarm calls for Spain to reform the pricing system. Indeed, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simsen sided with Germany and the Nordic countries on the grounds that: Proposals from Spain and France will increase risk of blackouts. But the war in Ukraine caused a complete turnaround in Von der Leyen, Getting closer to Sanchez’s idea.

“We have to equip ourselves New instruments for the next 15 days for better resistance Shock price related to this geopolitical context. Prices had risen before the war and continued to rise because of it,” Macron said.

increase defense investment

At Versailles, Heads of State and Government pledged For the first time in EU history, ‘substantial increase in defence spending’to invest a significant portion of it, focusing on identified strategic gaps and cooperating within the EU to develop defence capabilities”. At the same time, they approved an additional €500 million project to finance the delivery of combat weapons to Ukraine, This is another unprecedented move.

After the Ukrainian conflict broke out, Germany, Denmark and Sweden are the first three member states to announce immediate additions Its defense spending amounts to 2 percent of GDP. This is a goal set by NATO, but few European countries have achieved it. Spain is a country that spends less money its military and defense policy (only 1.02%), Just ahead of the Principality of Luxembourg.

Pedro Sanchez, Josep Borrell and Charles Michel at an informal summit in Versailles this Friday


Sanchez says his goal is to 1.22% of GDP in 2024 defense spending. The priority, he argues, should be “to end the fragmentation of Europe’s defence industrial base so that it can spend better, invest better, to create synergies that unfortunately haven’t happened yet”.

Brussels will be held in mid-May Analysis of the EU’s investment gap in defence affairs. It will propose the steps it deems necessary to “strengthen the industrial and technological base of European defence”. Macron has announced a new special summit to discuss European defense issues.But Von der Leyen (and Sanchez) focus on Requires close coordination with NATO. “NATO is the most powerful military alliance in the world,” the President stressed.

food sovereignty

Russia and Ukraine are world’s main food producers, war threat Destabilizing the EU food market As Macron warned, the lack of a new harvest could even lead to famine in Africa within 12 to 18 months.

Also in this chapter, European leaders ask von der Leyen to “put forward Options for coping with rising food prices and to resolve the issue of global food security as soon as possible.”

European leaders want to guarantee the continent’s food sovereignty

This issue is of particular concern to Spainthe value of agricultural products imported from Ukraine last year 1.027 billion euros (2.5% of the total).they stand out Cereals (EUR 545 million, especially maize, EUR 510 million) and oils, EUR 423 million (bulk, EUR 422 million, equivalent to sunflower oil).

Minister of Agriculture, louis plane, has asked Brussels to take steps to increase the supply of animal feed ingredients on the community market. It also called for the adaptation of Common Agricultural Policy aid to the new situation so that there would be more cereal and oilseed production area in the EU.

Russian-Ukrainian War


Source link