The President of the Council of Governments Charles Michel wants to strengthen relations with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Algeria as part of solving the energy crisis. According to him, these countries can supply more energy to the European Union, which wants to become independent of Russian gas and oil supplies.
He said in a meeting with international media in Brussels that the “European Union president” will go to these countries in the coming days “to explore the possibilities of alternative supplies.” “We need to adjust our geopolitical strategy.”
It has already been agreed with Algeria that it will provide Italy and Spain with more, but “they also want the EU to invest in communications,” says Michel. Talks are underway with Qatar about short-term shipments of liquefied gas (LNG). Saudi Arabia and the UAE would like to see Europe invest money in developing green hydrogen and other renewable energy. According to Michel, countries mainly want to know if EU countries want to enter into long-term contracts.
The European Union President acknowledges that there are issues in those countries relating, for example, to human rights. “But in recent years, there has also been improvement in areas such as women’s liberation and gay rights.” Michel sees opportunities to “enhance standards and values by talking to them”.
According to Michel, it is very important for the European Union to reduce its energy consumption in order to deal with the energy crisis and accelerate the transition to renewable energy. He believes the proposals the European Commission has brought to the table to help consumers pay their energy bills are good, “but more is still needed”.
EU energy policy ministers will meet at the end of September to discuss the Commission’s proposals.
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