EUROPEAN ENERGY NEED FUNDS
BLOOMBERG- Nov 29, 2022 - The European Union needs additional funds to decouple from Russian gas and shield companies and households from the current energy crisis, a senior EU lawmaker said.
Irene Tinagli, who chairs the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs committee, said in an interview with Bloomberg News that the current proposed resources “won’t be enough to really solve the problem of energy independence and of energy poverty.”
Additional proposals from the European Commission, the EU´s executive arm, “will be very appreciated and very useful,” she added.
Her committee and member states are negotiating a proposal, known as Repower EU, to use up to €220 billion ($228 billion) of unused loans from the bloc’s pandemic recovery fund and €20 billion of subsidies to bolster the EU’s energy infrastructure, particularly in the green energy field.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen suggested last month that the executive may propose additional funding to top up the package given the massive needs in the continent, but her institution is still assessing the investment gap and how to finance the additional resources.
Tinagli said that the EU’s limited budget -- which is around 1% of the bloc’s GDP -- is “obviously not enough” to address the numerous challenges faced, from energy to security.
The EU should discuss additional common resources “putting aside ideologies,” including through more joint borrowing as the bloc did with the unprecedented €800 billion Next Generation EU recovery program forged during the pandemic, she said.
Under von der Leyen’s presidency, “we already saw the big leap forward of NGEU,” Tinagli added. “I don’t know if there is the energy and the political capital to have two big leap forwards in the same mandate.”