The European Board of Auditors questions the success of European plans for independence from fossil fuels from Russia by 2030 through a strategic European approach. According to accountants, there are many obstacles in the financing and implementation of the Commission’s plan “REPowerEU”. They warn that the available funds may not be sufficient to cover the investments.
“We believe that with the current form of REPowerEU, it may not be possible to identify and implement strategic EU projects that have an immediate and significant impact on the EU’s energy security and independence,” Court member Ivana Maletic wrote in an opinion.
In May, the European Commission presented a package of proposals to separate the European Union from Russian coal, oil and gas as soon as possible. The Commission estimates the additional investment required for this purpose, including a rapid transition to renewable energy, at €210 billion during the current multi-year EU budget up to 2027. Altogether, this will amount to €300 billion through 2030.
Corona Recovery Fund and Auctions
The money for the massive operation will come, if it is up to the Commission, from the Coronavirus Recovery Fund set up to help EU countries after the economic setbacks caused by the pandemic, among other things. This still contains approximately 225 billion euros of unused loans.
It also proposes to auction 20 billion euros for additional emissions permits and make EU countries wanting to funnel money from the European Agricultural and Cohesion Funds, for more than 34 billion euros.
The Court of Auditors notes that only auctions of more emissions permits will generate €20 billion in additional funds expected. In the current setup, securing funding for many projects depends mainly on the willingness of member states to use the remaining loans from the Coronavirus Recovery Fund and to use the funds for other EU policies, such as rural development.
Therefore, there is a risk that projects of strategic importance to the EU will not be funded through REPowerEU, according to the European Court of Auditors.
See also: EU countries reach agreement on gas supply
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