Saturday

24th Jul 2021

Oettinger pledges energy solidarity

  • Last winter, parts of Eastern Europe suffered from serious shortages as Russia cut off gas supplies in a dispute with transit country Ukraine (Photo: Flickr)

EU commissioner-designate for energy Guenther Oettinger wants to make sure that no EU member state is left behind as the EU works to improve the security of its gas and electricity supplies.

"The principle of solidarity must stand," Mr Oettinger said, answering questions by Eastern and South Eastern lawmakers in a formal parliamentary hearing on Thursday (14 January). "We must refrain from single-area solutions."

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

Mr Oettinger promised to push for massive expansions of the grid. He welcomed plans for extended long-distance gas connections, explicitly referring to the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic Sea, a new Southern corridor, the "Nabucco" project connecting the EU with the Caucasus and an intercontinental link to Northern Africa.

For "Nabucco," Oettinger said he would seek as early as this year a "waterproof" long-term commitment from Azerbaijan for gas deliveries.

In addition, the would-be commissioner, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrat Party, wants an extended grid within the EU. He promised to support reverse-flow technologies in order to facilitate supplies to every EU region.

Last winter, parts of Eastern Europe suffered from serious shortages as Russia cut off gas supplies in a dispute with transit country Ukraine. Bulgaria and Slovakia were worst hit. The crisis prompted outgoing EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs to announce improved interconnections and grids.

Far left and right MEPs less critical of China and Russia

MEPs have shown consistent support for action against authoritarian regimes other than Russia or China, but unanimity requirements in the votes of the European Council are considered a clear impediment for a more effective EU foreign policy.

Open letter from 30 embassies ahead of Budapest Pride

The open letter is from the embassies of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, US.

Orbán counters EU by calling referendum on anti-LGBTI law

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has announced a referendum on his country's controversial new anti-LGBTIQ law - in response to criticism from the European Union which called the new legislation discriminatory.

Opinion

Why aren't EU's CSDP missions working?

The EU deploys thousands of advisers to its missions abroad. Without addressing reform as a profoundly political struggle, however, the EU will remain successful only in operational advisory and trainings.

News in Brief

  1. Macron changes phone after Pegasus spyware revelations
  2. Italy to impose 'vaccinated-only' entry on indoor entertainment
  3. EU 'will not renegotiate' Irish protocol
  4. Brussels migrants end hunger strike
  5. Elderly EU nationals in UK-status limbo after missed deadline
  6. WHO: 11bn doses needed to reach global vaccination target
  7. EU to share 200m Covid vaccine doses by end of 2021
  8. Spain ends outdoor mask-wearing despite surge

Romania most keen to join eurozone

The survey was carried out in seven member states that have not yet adopted the single currency: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden. Denmark has decided not to join, having negotiated an opt-out.

Column

The Polish government wants EU money - but not EU law

The concern of Germany's Constitutional Court was that the European Court of Justice did not sufficiently check the action of other EU branches of power. The Polish situation is the exact reverse: the government is taking control of the courts.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. Far left and right MEPs less critical of China and Russia
  2. Why is offshore wind the 'Cinderella' of EU climate policy?
  3. Open letter from 30 embassies ahead of Budapest Pride
  4. Orbán counters EU by calling referendum on anti-LGBTI law
  5. Why aren't EU's CSDP missions working?
  6. Romania most keen to join eurozone
  7. Slovenia risks court over EU anti-graft office
  8. Sweden's gang and gun violence sets politicians bickering

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us