The EU needs a fallback position on the Green Deal in terms of finance and energy supplies, MEP Alfred Sant says.
“My argument is that the EU needs a fallback position on the Green Deal in terms of finance, energy, not just where but which energy, and perhaps a rethinking of nuclear.”
He added that if Russia cuts more supplies it will be increasingly difficult for countries like Bulgaria and Romania to make a switch. More so, the EU’s distrust in nuclear energy could create more problems.
“We’re going to have a difficult 5 or 6 months on dealing with the Green Deal and the economic impact of what’s going not just in terms of war, but also sanctions and inflation” Sant explained.
MEP Josianne Cutajar explained that it was important that the Fit for 55 package is conscious of the challenges faces by smaller island member states.
“If you look at Commission Fit for 55 package you see that island specificities are scarcely taken into account. Mostly, you find some derogations when it comes to outer-most regions. We cannot forget peripheral and insular regions like ours,” she said.
The Socialists and Democrats Maltese delegation in fact abstained on the latest Fit for 55 package vote, she said.
“It’s good that we go for cleaner fuels and Emission Trading Scheme proposals but we must keep in mind that we depend on air and maritime transport and this relates to the free movement of citizens, of services and of businesses. We have to ensure that vulnerable people don’t pay the price,” she explained.
Speaking on how grain supplies have been impacted by the Russian war on Ukraine, Dr Sant said that even if this war ends, Europe is going to be locked into a situation where it has stopped supplies from Russia, which will push Russia even further towards China, which will take the surplus.
“In the long-term that means the EU and Russia will be on a different course for a long time. That’s bad for small countries because it’s in their interest to have as many relationships as possible – which will not be so easy in the future,” he said.
“We cannot look at the recovery of the pandemic on its own, it’s been hit by another shock in the system and we need to take this into account too,” Cutajar added.
You can watch the full interview here.