Philippe Lamberts came to report on certain European issues at the DH radio studios. The 27 heads of state and government, meeting on Thursday and Friday in Brussels, should grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of official candidates for accession. What does this mean for Ukraine, a country invaded and bloodied by Russia for more than a hundred days? “We are in the symbolic” specifies from the outset the ecologist MEP and co-president of the Greens group. “It is above all about giving a boost to the Ukrainian population, which is necessary. We must anchor the idea that one day it will be like this, but we know that it will take time. The catastrophic situation in Ukraine gives it a boost in this process, while other countries have been waiting for their turn for years. It’s a “problem not adequately addressed” according to Philippe Lamberts. “We should have immediately granted candidate status to the countries of the Western Balkans that are not yet candidate countries. For the same reason: to anchor in these countries the idea that they will one day be part of the Union. For decades we have been hanging the idea that one day they could be members. And it’s not moving forward. Obviously, it’s because there are problems on the ground. But suddenly, I assure you, in Sarajevo, they don’t believe in that anymore.” The MEP therefore points to a risk for Europe. “This situation opens the way for Vladimir Putin to play his game in these territories, to destabilize these countries and exert influence. We are talking about countries at the heart of the European Union, and we run the risk of maintaining a hotbed of destabilization.”
It is already difficult to make decisions between the 27 member countries of the European Union. Should we be more? ” One thing is obvious: the unanimity rule in the Council will have to be abolished. Because parliament decides by majority. Hungary will not want? We’ll have to tell each other at some point. We have influence over Hungary. Victor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, is blackmailing certain files that must be decided unanimously, but Hungary is one of the countries that benefits most from the European boom. So Orban will have to understand that he can’t have butter and butter money. .”
On a geopolitical level, the war in Ukraine initiated by Russia also challenges European solidarity. The latter is holding, “until now Philippe Lamberts believes. “I am pleasantly surprised, compared to the euro crisis in which it was each one for himself, for example. The Union reacts in a coherent, strong and united way. But it is a marathon. It will still last” parse the guest.
“Obviously I have some fears about energy or rising prices” nuances the politician. “As during the pandemic with health, energy is a national competition, not a European one. And we realize that it does not make sense. We could transfer energy, and especially supply, to Europe. We began to realize that each one for their side is done to the detriment of everyone else. Energy is tricky, we know, but it’s also energy at the heart of the economy.”
European climate goals undermined?
Germany has reactivated coal mines to continue producing energy, in the face of Putin’s embargo on Russian gas. A decision that could threaten the European objectives set for 2030 and 2050. Is the Green Deal compromised by the war in Ukraine? ” You have to point out the risk. Because the German decision is worrying. When I listen to the President of the European Commission (note: Ursula von der Leyen), she is very clear when she says that the true path to energy independence is the transition to renewables and energy efficiency. . She only has. Except that in immediate practice, we are diversifying our supply of fossil fuels. And in some countries, it’s even turning to even more harmful fossils, like coal. .”
Germany might have abandoned nuclear power too soon. ” I am an environmentalist and therefore I am against nuclear energy. It must eventually disappear from our energy mix. But we are where we are, with the elections that our countries have made in recent years. Germany included. German environmentalists and socialists had passed a nuclear disposal law. When Merkel came to power, she first abolished this law. And then, after Fukushima, she wanted to get out of nuclear power three times faster than other politicians had decided years before. Today we have to choose between plague and cholera. I think that the expansion of some nuclear power plants is a lesser evil compared to the revival of coal-fired power plants. Above all, it is necessary to manage the output in the least stupid way possible. .”
The European environmentalist obviously doesn’t like hearing the Germans say they are reviving coal-fired power plants because of Putin’s control over Europe’s gas supply. “It’s not something I like. Germany, but also Europe, is hugely dependent on Russian gas.” says the politician. ” This is the result of the Merkel years. She is often portrayed as a great European heroine. In fact, she was one of those who were at the heart of organizing the European Union’s dependency on Russia. She bears a huge responsibility for the current situation, but so does her Social Democratic predecessors. They were exactly on the same line. This dependency, we pay today. This dependency is why Germany did not want us to react brutally to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. If we had, maybe Putin would never have attacked Ukraine.”
Emmanuel Macron’s second five-year term begins. It is said that he is very European. He is also the image that he wants to give the president, on which he lobbied during the first and then the second round of the French presidential elections. What does Philippe Lamberts think? “Indeed, he has a very European discourse, but during the first five years he returned to Brussels mainly to explain to his colleagues, to the other heads of state and government, that France had returned. ‘I’ll explain it to you, do what I tell you and everything will be fine’It was kind of his position. Obviously he took some rakes and also hit a lot of colleagues. I remember when he received Vladimir Putin at Versailles or at his vacation residence. He arranged these contacts with Russia without talking about them with the countries that were once dominated by Russia. He went over their heads and created a lot of mistrust and resentment that we still feel today.”observes the guest of DH Radio.