Brussels. Now the European Union is sending technicians to the capitals of the Member States to help define liberation strategies from the Russian energy supplier. They will not arrive everywhere, but seventeen out of twenty-seven countries, including Italy, are not few.
On the contrary, they are proof that Europe is starting to prepare for the worst scenario, that of a clean cut in existing contracts with Moscow and all its subsidiaries. Two-thirds of the twelve-star club members asked to use RepowerEU, the special program launched by the community executive in early March to ensure affordable energy security. From north to south, from east to west, assistance requests arrive from every corner of the Union, Italy, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Hungary.
They are the ones who started the reasoning with Brussels on how to manage the abandonment of Moscow fossil fuels. The Commission will not give cash support, it will put its experts at the disposal of national governments, including that of Mario Draghi, to “identify and implement the best political reforms and investments” in areas such as diversification of energy supply, acceleration of transition to renewable energies and increasing energy efficiency.
An all-out work, given that the support in terms of policies, strategies and interventions intends to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, and therefore coal, oil and even natural gas. The picture seems to be composed in the light of the acceleration that the reasoning on the ban on gas exports has experienced in Europe. Unthinkable until a few days ago and still the subject of hesitation, now the topic is on the table. The EU, in the fifth and final package of sanctions now under consideration, has already foreseen interventions on coal, but the possibility of going further is opening up. Luigi Di Maio makes no secret of it. “There is an advanced debate on coal, and we will see what the result will be”, but in case “there will be no vetoes by Italy on any sanctions that affect oil, gas and coal imported from Russia”, he says the Foreign Minister, in Brussels for the NATO ministerial meeting.
So everything suggests that the EU is starting to move forward. He tries to put into practice the statements and decisions he has made so far, and tries to go further. The technical support requested from the European Commission will have to deal not only with investments and diversification, but also with providing support to manage any short and medium term energy shocks. For this reason, the technical support instrument will provide “timely, tailored and targeted support to the rapidly changing needs of each of these Member States”, explains the Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira. “In addition to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, Member States are facing an unprecedented energy crisis.” They know this in Brussels as well as in the EU capitals, which work closely together to be ready.