Brussels presents 210 billion package to gain independence from Russia – Observer

The European Commission has presented a €210 billion energy package until 2027 for the European Union (EU) to be independent of Russian energy, proposing to redirect €300 billion in European funds to finance it.

At stake is REPowerEU, the plan to increase the resilience of the European energy system and to make Europe independent of Russian fossil fuels before 2030, following the war in Ukraine and supply problems, which, like the had already reported Lusa, involves an additional investment of 210 billion euros. by 2027.

In a short statement to the press on Wednesday in Brussels, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, underlined that “all this will, of course, require massive investments and reforms”. “We are going to mobilize nearly 300 billion euros, around 72 billion euros in grants and 225 billion euros in loans,” added the leader of the community executive.

According to Ursula von der Leyen, “this will include funding – up to 10 billion euros – for missing gas and LNG connections. [gás natural liquefeito], so that no Member State is left behind and up to two billion euros for oil infrastructure, with a view to stopping the shipment of Russian oil”. “All other funding will accelerate and scale up the clean energy transition,” said Ursula von der Leyen.

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In the communication from the European Commission on REPowerEU, the institution proposes “a targeted and rapid modification of the regulation on the recovery and resilience mechanism”, providing in particular for “the allocation of additional funding from the auctioning of quotas of the emissions trading system, in a limited amount”. ”.

At the same time, she would like the Member States “to benefit from greater flexibility in the transfer of the resources allocated to them” within the framework of Community funds such as those for regional and social development, cohesion, just transition, among others, as well as concerning the strategic plans of the common agricultural policy (CAP). Brussels underlines that “the process of voluntary transfer by Member States of cohesion policy funds and CAP funds to the REPowerEU program under the recovery and resilience plans has been designed to ensure a rapid adoption process “.

This redirection of Community funds represents a total of €72 billion in grants, which will be supplemented by “€225 billion in loans under the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, i.e. a total amount close to €300 billion “, explains the community executive in the communication. The amount of the loan from the recovery funds corresponds to what has not been requested by the Member States.

According to the Brussels accounts, REPowerEU will be “rewarding”, since associated with the Goal 55 package, which provides for an ecological transition with a 55% reduction in polluting emissions by 2030, it will allow the EU “to save 80 billion in gas import expenditure, €12 billion in oil import expenditure and €1.7 billion in coal import expenditure per year”.

Also, as Lusa had pointed out, within the framework of REPowerEU, the European Commission wishes to raise the objective of energy consumption of the EU from renewable sources to 45% by 2030, in order to “accelerate the phasing out of Russian fossil fuels” and to reduce prices, in particular by betting on solar and “green” hydrogen.

In the published document, it is also expected that the EU will have to invest between 1.5 and 2 billion euros to guarantee the security of oil supplies after an embargo on Russia. The European Commission also defends, in REPowerEU, that the current high electricity prices in the Iberian Peninsula “underline the need” to build interconnectors, as part of an additional investment estimated at 29 billion euros in the network. European electricity by 2030.

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