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S&Ds: Urgent needs in energy supply cannot undermine our actions on the climate emergency

Date

10 Nov 2022

Sections

Euro & Finance

The Socialist and Democrats in the European Parliament voted in plenary to include REPowerEU chapters into the Recovery and Resilience Plans of the member states. This is a key EU step forward to contribute to tackling the energy crisis and ensure the immediate supply in the EU with the creation of energy infrastructure and connections, energy renovation and renewable energy productions, while ensuring compliance with the environmental objectives of the Union.

REPowerEU is the legislative package proposed by the European Commission in May 2022 in order for the member states to adapt their energy systems to become fully independent from Russian fossil fuels. Today’s adoption closes intensive work periods in various EP parliamentary committees and opens the negotiations with the Council to deliver immediate and sustainable actions to address the energy crisis and reduce our dependence.

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, S&D MEP and EP negotiator on the REPowerEU facility in the committee on budgets, said:

“It was crucial for our group to make sure Europeans have the infrastructures they need to secure their energy supply and have the resources required to replace Russian fossil fuels. This is of paramount importance to tackle the painful issues of high-energy bills and energy poverty for households and businesses, and notably the most vulnerable ones. Yet, we are absolutely convinced this must not be done to the detriment of other crucial EU policies such as agriculture or cohesion policy. This is why the Socialists and Democrats built and delivered more sustainable and future oriented solutions and opposed the idea to finance oil-related projects. In addition to this, we say “Yes!” to the possibility of financing energy-related projects within the national plans for recovery and resilience with EU money. However, this can only happen on a case-by-case exemption basis under strict conditions and protecting the environment.

“We support the inclusion of the REPowerEU chapters as part of the national Recovery and Resilience Plans of member states as an important instrument to deliver its purpose with a broad framework to tackle challenges in order to reduce energy dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward towards the green transition. We have achieved more socially inclusive REPowerEU chapters to have a significant impact for our citizens.”

Costas Mavrides, S&D negotiator on the REPowerEU facility in the Parliament's committee on economic and monetary affairs, said:

“The European Parliament’s proposal ensures that projects aimed at tackling energy poverty for households and SMEs benefit from this funding. This has been one of our Group’s priorities. We have also included a provision requiring mandatory consultations with local authorities, social partners and other civil society stakeholders. We also support cross-border projects and include a reference for the EU to give particular consideration to remote, peripheral and isolated regions and islands which already experience additional constraints.

“The RRF with the REPowerEU chapters is an important instrument for supporting member states to cope with the short-term effects of the energy crisis and safeguarding security of supply, as well as to accelerate the long-term transition towards a decarbonised energy system. However, this is not the end and certainly, this is not enough. We need more courageous decisions immediately by the Council and the Commission, such as the bold reform of the EU economic and fiscal governance, an EU fiscal capacity and common tools to respond to economic shocks at a European level, learning from experience.

“After all, our job is to deliver to EU citizens.”

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