- Oil embargo dispute: Hungary demands billions
- Trade and Technology Council finds its role
- Commission: inflation slow to ease
- EU guidance: companies to continue paying for gas in euros or dollars
- Member states approve rules to promote energy infrastructure
- Manuel Höferlin – digital policy with technical expertise
Yesterday, France’s President Emmanuel Macron appointed former Labor Minister Élisabeth Borne as the new prime minister. This is the first time in 30 years that France has had a woman at the helm of government. Borne succeeds Prime Minister Jean Castex, who had previously resigned with his government. The move is considered a formality in France following a presidential election. We will introduce the 61-year-old in tomorrow’s edition of the Europe.Table Decision Brief.
At yesterday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers, no agreement was reached on the planned oil embargo against Russia. Hungary blocks the move and demands billions for the modernization of its energy infrastructure. In contrast, a far-reaching decision was made on the issue of arms deliveries, as Eric Bonse reports from Brussels.
There was a consensus at the second meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Paris. This is not a given considering that the first forum between the USA and the EU in September was overshadowed by the collapse of the French submarine deal. Vice President of the EU Commission Margrethe Vestager was almost euphoric yesterday about the results achieved regarding standards for artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. The problem of supply bottlenecks is also to be addressed, as Stephan Israel writes.
Manuel Höferlin, the FDP’s interior and digital politician, was already on the Internet in the early 1990s. But he didn’t find his way into politics until much later, at the age of 32. Today, he is a “fighter for digitization”. Read why in the Profile.
I hope you enjoy reading today’s newsletter.
Oil embargo dispute: Hungary demands billions
In a video message posted on Facebook, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó spoke of investments of €15 to €18 billion that would be necessary for his country to do without Russian oil after all. A “complete modernization of Hungary’s energy infrastructure” was required, Szijjártó emphasized. It was, therefore, “legitimate” for his country to await a proposal from the EU Commission.
The Brussels authority has been negotiating with the government in Budapest for a week. Commission head Ursula von der Leyen had even met with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán herself, but no agreement was reached. The Hungarian approach was met with incomprehension by the foreign ministers. “The entire Union is being held hostage by one member state,” criticized Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis.
His Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio called for a move away from the principle of unanimity in foreign policy. “This allows one country to block decisions by all the others,” he complained in Brussels, adding that a quick agreement was not to be expected, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said on the sidelines of the meeting. The positions are “quite strong”, so the decision still needs time.