6th Dec 2022

Merkel puts pressure on EU for Russian pipeline

  • German chancellor Angela Merkel wrote to the European Commission about the project (Photo: The Council of the European Union)

German chancellor Angela Merkel has stepped up the pressure on the European commission and member states to back a Russian-German gas pipeline project, rejecting claims that this would increase Europe's energy dependency on Russia.

In a letter sent to commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and to the chairman of the EU presidency Mirek Topolanek, Ms Merkel calls for support for the controversial Nord Stream pipeline on the seabed of the Baltic Sea, arguing that the recent gas crisis shows the need for the project, Financial Times Deutschland reports.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Ms Merkel's move comes just a day after the commission pledged €250 million for the non-Russian gas pipeline Nabucco and after Mr Topolanek called Nord Stream and Gazprom's second project South Stream a threat to the construction of the European project.

The German chancellor argued that all three projects – Nabucco, Nord Stream and South Stream were needed, and that all EU member states should show political will to build them.

Nord Stream was highly criticised by the Baltic states, Poland, Finland and Sweden for trying to leave them out by connecting Germany directly to the Russian gas fields, as well as for environmental concerns related to a submarine pipeline.

The Nord Stream deal was sealed by Ms Merkel's predecessor Gerhard Schroeder, who has since become a member of the Gazprom board. The pipeline consortium consists of Gazprom, the German companies Eon Ruhrgas and BASF, as well as the Dutch company Gasunie.

Meanwhile, in a speech delivered at the Davos business forum, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin unveiled his vision regarding "a real single energy partnership" with Europe, based on "clear-cut legal foundation".

He compared such a partnership with the treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, which later became the European Union.

ECB says more rate hikes to come

European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde said more rate hikes will come, but also admitted a recession will not lower inflation — leaving some economist question the logic of the policy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. EU countries struggle to crack Hungary's vetos
  2. Frontex expanding migrant route-busting mission in Balkans
  3. EU ministers in fresh battle on joint debt, after Biden subsidies
  4. EU: 'We'll see' if Moscow actually stops selling oil over price-cap
  5. Bad Karma
  6. Serbia now has no choice but to join EU sanctions on Russia
  7. Hungary's funds showdown in focus This WEEK
  8. EU must break Orbán's veto on a tax rate for multinationals

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us