Insights | EU Insight 7 October, 2022

10/10/2022

EU Insight 7 October, 2022

Brussels, 7 October 2022

 

COUNCIL ADOPTS POSITION ON REPowerEU, PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR FURTER MEASURES

EU member states adopted the REPowerEU proposal, which should support the diversification of the Union’s energy supplies and thus strengthen its strategic autonomy. The Council proposes to modify the origin and allocation of the funds for REPowerEU and slightly modifies the provisions linked to Member States’ obligations and the programme timeframe. As the European Parliament adopted its report in September, negotiations are set to start in coming weeks. The Czech Presidency aims at an agreement by the end of the year so that the Regulation will apply as of early 2023. Moreover, the European Parliament advocates for more ambitious emergency measures such as an appropriate price cap on gas and argues that windfall profits should benefit consumers and businesses.

 

COMMISSION PRESIDENT LAYS OUT FURTHER INITIATIVES TO TACKLE ENERGY CRISIS

The Commission President von der Leyen sent a letter to EU leaders ahead of the Informal European Council outlining the Commission’s roadmap for further action on the energy crisis based on the following four points: (i) gas imports and security of supply, (ii) a price cap at the Dutch TTF, Europe’s main gas price benchmark, (iii) electricity prices, and (iv) energy independence. The discussions amongst the EU27 leaders on the Commission’s ideas showed divisions among the Member States, particularly on a gas price cap. European leaders and the Commission will continue discussions on further actions to address the energy crisis ahead of the European Council that will take place on 20 -21 October.

 

EU ADOPTS ITS 8TH PACKAGE OF SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA

The European Union has formally adopted its 8th package of economic and individual sanctions against Russia, in response to its war against Ukraine and the illegal annexation of territories. In addition to making adjustments and corrections to previous packages, the measures notably introduce a prohibition of maritime transport of Russian crude oil and petroleum products to third countries above a future oil price cap, additional import bans, including a wider range of steel products, wood pulp, paper, machinery and appliances, chemicals, plastic and cigarettes, and a ban on the export of additional industrial and high-tech products to Russia.

 

THE NEW EUROPEAN POLITICAL COMMUNITY: PEACE AND SECURITY AT THE TOP OF PRIORITIES 

The European Political Community held its inaugural meeting in Prague where leaders from across the continent discussed peace and security, energy, climate, and the economic situation. The newly established community includes leaders from the European Union, as well as aspiring members of the bloc, but also some of its neighbors who don’t want to join the Union, such as Norway, Switzerland and the U.K. Lastly, European leaders decided that the upcoming meetings of the EPC would take place in Moldova, Spain, and the UK.

 

PROPOSAL TO PROLONG AND AMEND STATE AID TEMPORARY CRISIS FRAMEWORK

The European Commission launched a consultation for Member States on a draft proposal to prolong and adjust the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted in March 2022. The Framework was meant to help Member States to support the economy in light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, using the flexibility foreseen under State aid rules. Given the continued impact of the war, the Commission is looking to extend and prolong the framework in order for Member States to keep supporting the economy whilst maintaining a level playing field. The proposed amendments include increasing the maximum aid ceilings, facilitating access to liquidity support, electricity demand reduction, as well as simplifying and clarifying criteria to qualify for support.

 

COMING UP NEXT WEEK

  • 11-12 October: Informal Meeting of Energy Ministers.
  • 12 October: College of Commissioners Meeting. On the agenda: Communication on application of EU law, Enlargement package, 2023 European year of Skill.
  • 13-14 October: Informal Meeting of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers. On the agenda: The impact of energy poverty and the Ukrainian crisis.
  • 13-14 October: Justice and Home Affairs Council. On the agenda: Russia’s aggression and crimes in Ukraine, Environmental crime, Fundamental rights, Asylum and Migration.

 

Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab

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Kreab • Tel: +32 2 737 6900 • karl.isaksson@kreab.comwww.kreab.com/brussels • Twitter: @KreabEU.

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