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EPP Statement adopted by the EPP Political Assembly on 18 November 2022
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The EPP is the rock of European politics. As we have led Europe in the past, so too now, faced with a new crisis, the EPP will lead Europe — powered by unity — through a winter of solidarity.   Europe was built on the bedrock of energy: when EU founders — and EPP forebears — like Schuman, Adenauer and De Gasperi, grounded in Christian democratic values and inspired by their vision of a peaceful post-War future, launched the European Coal and Steel Community. It was this same spirit which created Euratom. We must regain this European initiative: for sustainable solutions, not an ideological agenda. Europe needs an energy union: for a prosperous, secure, carbon-neutral future.   Russia’s latest war against Ukraine has made social divisions in Europe worse, as high prices and rising interest rates hurt families and small businesses on whom our European way of life depends. Eurozone inflation is expected to have hit 10.7% in October — and continues to rise. For many Member States, it’s even worse. Putin’s energy war, too, has shown Europe still lacks energy sovereignty: we are simply too dependent.   The EPP has put forward urgent solutions to these problems: to ensure energy security, stabilise prices and help businesses survive and grow. First, as with vaccines, EU members must join forces to buy gas together, to help limit how much we are paying for it. We must redirect EU funds as well as large, unexpected profits from electricity providers. And we must lower the burden on businesses and farmers with a legislative burden break, especially where new legislation endangers Europe’s energy or food security. More renewables, and fast-track investments in energy infrastructure, are urgently needed. And Member States must do whatever it takes to maintain or increase domestic energy production — such that postponing coal or nuclear phase-outs should not be taken off the table. The EU needs reliable new partners and shorter supply chains for critical raw materials. We have proposed a zero-VAT rate on basic foodstuffs.   Looking ahead, the crisis shows our need for a real European energy union. We must finally stand to our full height and keep energy affordable, secure and sustainable with a fully integrated market. We have energy resources, advanced social market economies — and an advanced Single Market — valued by investors, strong education systems, cutting-edge R&D, rich farmlands and many friends and allies. Sun from the south, wind from the north; nuclear, LNG and other transitional solutions, east to west: let’s connect all this, via better trading platforms, in a common European network. We need more energy interconnectivity, in particular between the Iberian Peninsula and France. And we must scrap bureaucracy and streamline current environmental legislation in order to upgrade Europe’s infrastructure and create a true hydrogen backbone. Let’s create a blueprint for our EU energy future: including a resource guide, a how-to manual for the grid and best practices for both producers and consumers.   An energy union must achieve energy sovereignty: we can never again depend on Russia. So let’s build an economic union of democracies, in the framework of EU trade deals. Why, for instance, is the left blocking progress in new energy and key technology agreements with our ally the United States? We must diversify our energy sources with trusted new partners — and deepen energy ties with trusted old ones, such as Switzerland and Norway. The EPP is the party of innovation, the party of how — but innovation requires resources and raw materials, and so we need, too, a comprehensive EU strategy for this.   Finally, an EU energy union must deliver on our climate-neutrality goals. This means deregulating the installation of renewables. And it means decarbonising industry, buildings and transport — even as we reindustrialise with scaled-up, EU-invented and EU-produced green tech. Smart solutions, driven by market incentives and protected by fair, rules-based trade (including, e.g., via a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism), will keep European jobs globally competitive. We must at the same time make saving energy attractive: e.g., through vouchers for cleaner mobility and tax breaks and easier bank lending for building renovations or for buying cleaner cars.   The EPP leads on the ground as problem-solvers and bridgebuilders, finding solutions together as entrepreneurs and as union leaders, council members and mayors. We are Europe’s party of the people, for the people. The party of leadership, of security, of innovation. Despite huge challenges, we are hopeful for the future. Because no other party can deliver a stronger Europe for the next generation.

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