Energy crisis, Ukraine dominate European Council

Europe’s energy crisis dominated today’s European Council, with a 10 hour discussion between European Leaders in Brussels.

In comments to the media at the end of the meeting, PM Robert Abela emphasised the need to have hydrogen-ready energy infrastructure.

The Prime Minister headed straight to Brussels for the meeting this morning, on the eve of the general election, to participate in the European Council meeting, held in a context of instability on the European continent with the war still raging in Ukraine. 

The meeting also discussed food security, European security and economic issues. The ongoing Ukrainian conflict and the Russian aggression has strengthened EU unity more than ever, something which Prime Minister Abela noted. 

The raft of sanctions, approved against Russian interests, were unprecedented both in their effects on the Russian economy and also the speed with which they have been approved. 

European leaders endorsed the Strategic Compass that was formally approved by Foreign Affairs Ministers this week. The Strategic Compass is a shared action plan to make the EU more responsive to crises affecting its security by being able to mobilise the necessary resources quickly. The Strategic Compass solidifies the EU Global Strategy, as it has been approved by all Member States. 

Discussions also focused on the energy crisis, particularly on how the EU can reduce its dependence on Russian oil and gas. The Council called on the Commission to expedite work, together with the Member States, to ensure adequate measures of gas storage.

Furthermore, the European Council also called on the Commission to expedite its work on reducing the EU’s strategic dependencies in the most sensitive areas such as critical raw materials, semi-conductors, health, digital and food.

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