The European and Hungarian left would prevent energy independence for Central Europe

2022. 11. 10.

The European Parliament plenary has voted today on the European Commission’s REPowerEU package of proposals. In the process, the European and Hungarian left voted against the use of EU funds for investments in oil infrastructure. The original aim of RepowerEU was to use EU funds to help create energy independence in Europe. Today’s decision by the European left would prevent this. It is outrageous that the Hungarian left is also supporting this obstruction of energy independence in Europe and says no to supporting nuclear energy investments.

MEP Enikő Győri, said that by excluding oil investments supporting the transition from the eligible projects, the European Parliament shows that it is not interested in a successful energy transition for Central Europe and does not understand that there are physical, technical, and geographical barriers. If the Parliamentary text prevails, it will slow down the process of energy independence from Russia, and the public will pay the price in terms of higher energy prices and inflation. European industry will relocate, and our competitiveness will decline. The MEP called on the left majority in the European Parliament to realise that greening must be based on economic rationality, not ideological conviction.

According to MEP Andor Deli, REPowerEU was originally intended to support the energy independence and diversification of member states. Yet, on the grounds of greening, EU support for oil development was rejected by the left-wing majority. Unfortunately, this makes it impossible to transform the energy situation in the Central European region in particular and to achieve energy independence. Greening is essential, but improving the current systems is just as important. In this extremely difficult energy situation, stopping EU investment in the oil sector would be another shot in the foot, further weakening Europe’s own fragile economy. The MEP said that REPowerEU should return to its original purpose. 

Background: The European Commission’s May 2022 proposal, REPowerEU, would help EU countries reduce their dependence on energy imports from Russia. In total, around €300 billion will be available to fund REPowerEU over the coming years. Of this, €225 billion is still available as a loan from the largest Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), which would be complemented by a further €72 billion in non-refundable aid under the EC proposal. The European Commission proposes to adopt REPowerEU as a complement to the RRF for simplicity and speed of implementation, with Member States having to submit and approve a revised plan to draw down funds from the separate chapter. In today’s vote, the EP excluded from eligible investment projects that support oil independence, which from a Hungarian perspective would slow down and complicate the conversion of Hungarian refineries, for example.