European energy myopia by Ana Palacio

French President Emmanuel Macron’s opposition to the completion of the Midi-Catalonia pipeline is symptomatic of a wider problem in Europe. Even as they all grapple with soaring energy prices, EU members can’t seem to shake their country-for-itself mentality.

MADRID — As summer turns to autumn in Europe, the stakes of the continent’s energy crisis are rising rapidly, with no end in sight. While the immediate cause of the current price spike is the war in Ukraine, its roots run much deeper. In fact, it was the inevitable result of European inaction and tunnel vision – in particular, its failure to build a genuine Energy Union and its focus on delivering the European Green Deal.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had a unifying effect on the European Union. He also helped revive a transatlantic relationship that had been undermined not only by the presidency of Donald Trump, but also by the unilateral American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the formation of the AUKUS defense partnership with Australia and the United Kingdom ( a slap in the face for France). Today, the EU-US relationship is the strongest it has been in six years.

On the energy front, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which was supposed to transport Russian gas directly to Germany, seems dead in the water. Even the Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been shut down, at least for now, after more than a decade of operation. The EU has set its sights on the long unthinkable – and perhaps unachievable – goal of ending its dependence on Russian gas altogether. The scale of this task was highlighted by the recent State of the Union address by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who proposed a number of sweeping energy measures but refrained from imposing a price cap on imports of Russian gas.

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Mary I. Bruner