Kallas in Brussels: we need to wean ourselves off energy dependence

22.10.2021 | 00:00

Brussels, 22 October 2021 – The European Council, which ended today, focused on seeking relief and solutions to high energy prices, cooperation on migration, and the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
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“Yesterday and today, together with European heads of state and government, we sought solutions to ensure more stable energy prices in the future and to reduce dependence on third countries. Energy prices are currently high because the European Union does not invest enough in alternative renewable energy sources and relies too much on fossil fuel imports,” the prime minister said after the Council. According to her, the heads of state and government agreed that investments in green energy must be accelerated, which will help to achieve energy independence and find solutions to ensure stable prices and energy supply. Kallas added that in accordance with the guidelines of the Council, EU energy ministers meeting in Luxembourg next week will continue to address the issue of energy prices. The Council will return to the subject in December.

The heads of state and government of the European Union jointly condemned attempts by third countries to use migrants for political purposes, including the hybrid attack of Belarus on the borders of the European Union. “We must continue to put pressure on the Belarussian regime with additional sanctions and strengthen the external borders of the European Union,” Kallas commented on the migration debate, which focused on hybrid threats. In addition, they discussed the cooperation of the European Union with third countries in preventing migratory pressures. The foreign trade debate focused on strengthening competitiveness and trade policy objectives, and prepared for the forthcoming meeting of the Eastern Partnership, the Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the COP26 climate conference.

The Council also discussed digital issues and the Digital Decade initiative of the European Commission. “Although the importance of the digital revolution is often underestimated, our ability to innovate digitally is the key to a more competitive economy. The digital revolution will give us better opportunities for the future, and I was pleased to see that my colleagues also agreed that more and more attention needs to be paid to issues such as trusted connectivity, cyber security, and data interoperability.“

The heads of state and government also shared experiences in combating the coronavirus pandemic and discussed how to move forward with the digital certificates. According to the prime minister, the digital certificate has been a real success and the need to continue speeding up the processes for recognising the certificate with third countries was emphasised.

Conclusions of the Council: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/european-council/2021/10/21-22/

Photo gallery: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWZhLmr

Government Communication Office