Wednesday

11th Dec 2019

EU draws up Adriatic gas plan after Russia-Ukraine fiasco

The EU might build a new gas pipeline on the Adriatic Sea coast in order to ease reliance on Russia following the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute.

Hungarian economics minister Janos Koka told news wires about the plan following a meeting of EU energy experts in Brussels on Wednesday (4 December).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

Under the scheme, tankers would deliver liquid gas from the Middle East and North Africa to an Adriatic region entry point into Europe.

A feasibility study is due by March.

The EU experts' meeting was orginally tabled for May, but was brought forward after Russia turned off gas supplies to transit state Ukraine on Sunday causing sharp drops in deliveries to the EU.

Moscow and Kiev struck a price deal in the small hours of Wednesday morning, but some EU politicians are sceptical if the accord will hold.

The EU currently relies on Russia for around 25 percent of its gas consumption.

"We have to draw consequences from what happened, not just on gas but also regarding oil and electricity", Austrian ecnomics minister Martin Bartenstein said according to PAP and IHT.

"Dependency on Russia should be reduced", he added.

The EU energy group also asked the European Commission to produce a green paper on energy policy coordination in time for the Austrian presidency's first summit in March.

The paper is likely to focus on uniform counting methods for member states' gas reserves, concerted action on new supply routes, such as the Turkish 'Nabucco' pipeline, nuclear and renewable energy and energy conservation.

Polish daily Rzeczpospolita reports that all member states agreed on Wednesday to tackle energy at EU level, including previous opponents of the idea such as the UK.

"Europe needs a clear and more collective policy on the security of our energy supply," EU energy commisssioner Andris Piebalgs indicated.

The Austrian presidency stressed that Russia has been a "reliable" EU energy partner for over 40 years.

But signs of concern also came from Berlin, with a German government spokesman telling media that energy will be a big topic when chancellor Angela Merkel visits Moscow on 16 January.

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

Interview

EU Africa envoy: Europe needs to look beyond migration

Europe's obsession with migration from Africa means it risks losing out the continent's potential when it comes to trade, says the EU's ambassador to the African Union, Ranier Sabatucci. "Africa is a growing continent, it is the future," he says.

EU agrees 2020 budget deal

EU governments and the parliament agreed in marathon talks ino next year's budget - which will boost spending on climate, border protection, and the European satellite system. It will also be a benchmark if there is no long-term budget deal.

EU and China agree to defend 'gastronomic jewels'

Manchego cheese, Panjin rice and Polish vodka will all be protected under a new EU-China agreeement. But the two trading giants continue to struggle over other trade-related deals.

News in Brief

  1. Czechs protest against PM Babis over EU subsidy 'fraud'
  2. EU disbursed €2.7bn for Turkey refugees
  3. UK ports set to host EU border checks for Northern Ireland
  4. EU puts tech giants in crosshairs
  5. Faroe Islands under pressure to chose Huawei
  6. Hungary asked to apologise after council leak
  7. MEPs: Finnish budget proposal 'impossible to implement'
  8. EP committee supports 'Future of EU Conference'

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

Opinion

Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us