On Tuesday night, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, assessed the new agreement of the 27 to save on gas consumption despite what “hard” which is “getting an agreement out of the European Union”.
“The “special circumstances of a country like Spain, which has pfew connections with the rest of Europe so that our savings are not wasted savings“, explained Borrell for hour 25.
The High Representative for Foreign Affairs has expressed that he fears “very much that the cuts by Russia will not wait until the fall.” Before the new announcements of reduction and cuts, “a 100% cut is surely not on the Kremlin’s agenda“. “We must do what has been done” to protect the supply and “so that we are not caught off guard”. For this reason, Josep Borrell has indicated that “as of August 1, a plan must be put into practice to reduce the consumption”.
In the face of criticism, I have made a direct “call for savings” for when “Russia cuts off” the supply. Insisting on the speed with which action must be taken because the savings must be “for tomorrow”. “First on a voluntary basis and then we’ll see if it’s mandatoryBorrell has expressed.
At the same time, it has emphasized how it can have an impact on companies and industries. This voluntary saving “can avoid reaching a situation in which it is necessary to establish these adjustments on a mandatory basis.” That is why he calls for the need for self-regulation. For example, the petrochemical industry in Germany only “consumes 5% of the total gas consumption”. The gas problem exists and is tangible, “but that is 5% that will have to be guaranteed because if German industry stops, the problem will not only be for Germany but for all“.
Josep Borrell wanted to establish a comparison between this call for gas savings and the call for saving water in the midst of a drought. In drought”I close the tap. Well, now we are in a similar situation with respect to gas.”
The High Representative intends to establish diplomatic channels to find a solution to the war in Ukraine, but “as long as the attack continues and we fail to open a diplomatic channel, we will have to continue helping every day. We have no other solution.” This explains why the last thing he wants “is to end with the imposition by force of an invasion that leads to the destruction of a country” that leads to the “partition” of a Ukraine. “Because if this happens once, why won’t it happen another time?“.
“It has more impact on the pockets of other countries. I don’t want to underestimate the problems it presents for Western society, but I assure you that the situation in African countries, in some Latin American and some Asian countries are much more serious”. Thus, he has refuted the impact of inflation on the population as a result of this war.
Europe in the process of militarization
Since Europe began a process of demilitarization in 2008, of reducing spending on weapons until reaching lower quotas, Borrell has called for an increase in spending on weapons by governments. “If you don’t spend on cannons, you run out of butter. In other words, you have to have a certain defense capacity because the world we live in is increasingly dangerous and I hope that the war in Ukraine has served as a cry of alarm to understand that Europe cannot be defenseless“.
Although a rearmament process began in 2014, Borrell considers that “we are not in the position we need at the moment we live”. “The minimum objective to be a member of NATO is 2% and there are countries like Spain that do not even reach half“, he indicated before the idea of increasing investment in weapons.
At the same time, the European Union’s tendency to unify armies and complement them is increasingly clear. At the NATO Summit last June, the intention of the 27 to unify arms forces so as not to be so subject to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was already visible. “The idea is that if all the European states start spending on defense each on their own, reproducing each one what they already have, but increasing it, we are not going to achieve the most optimal solution.” That is why Josep Borrell has insisted that “the only way to spend better when you have 27 different armies that are not going to disappear must be in a coordinated way“.
Finally, faced with a Europe divided by the debate on military spending, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has expressed his concern about the opposition to military spending within the Council because “we all prefer” to spend on other things, “but spending on defense is not a whim, it is a necessity“.