Expectations of the European People’s Party ahead of the European Council Session (20-21 October)
The leaders of the European People’s Party gathered in Brussels ahead of the European Council to discuss the current energy crisis in Europe and Russia’s war against Ukraine.
They welcomed the latest European Commission proposal for a joint gas purchasing scheme, the development of a new market correction mechanism to limit gas prices as well as the application of a „dynamic price corridor.”
But they also called the EU to take more urgent, ambitious, and united steps to stop the rise of energy prices and protect European consumers. The EU has shown that it can make difficult decisions in unity, including by setting up a joint mechanism to purchase vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. EU countries can’t choose the “go it alone” approach this time. They need to act together.
In addition, EPP leaders urged the EU to seize the moment and move swiftly towards an energy union, as the next significant project towards the deepening of European integration. Energy was the bedrock of the European Union as a project when Robert Schuman launched the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Today, energy could again become the centrepiece of our collective efforts towards more Europe.
The EPP will stand with Ukraine as long as it takes and continue to provide strong political, military and financial support to the country. However, emphasis must be put to ensure the effective implementation of restrictive measures against Russia.
In addition, non-EU countries such as Serbia and Turkey must fully align with EU sanctions against Russia and members of the Customs Union, particularly Ankara, must abide by the West’s political approach and stop supporting Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
On food security, the EPP leaders acknowledged that more should be done to safeguard European food production and shield our farmers and SMEs from certain bureaucratic proposals that put additional burden on them.
EPP leaders also urged all member states to endorse the admission of Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania to the Schengen area, as all three countries have met the required criteria.