Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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EU: money from rural fund also for biogas and new energy rate

The EU countries agree that part of the hundreds of billions for the European energy transition will have to come from the rural fund of the common agricultural policy. With the Repower project worth around 200 billion euros, the EU wants to stop being dependent on Russian energy within a few years. 

This transition aims at significant energy savings, the construction of many more solar and wind farms, purchasing from other gas and oil countries, and a restart of biogas production. The latter mainly concerns new agricultural activities.

The European Commission and the finance ministers are calling on 12.5% from the second pillar of the CAP fund, among other things, to the great dissatisfaction of the European Parliament's agri-agriculture committee. That committee met on Monday evening in Strasbourg in an adjourned meeting, and unanimously opposed the proposed Repower funding.

Nevertheless, the finance ministers reached an agreement on the entire Repower financing in Luxembourg on Tuesday. It turned out that most EU countries mainly had problems with the amount of 20 billion euros that the European Commission wants to get from the accelerated sale of ETS allowances. Partly at the suggestion of the Dutch FinMin Sigrid Kaag (D66), a different approach has been found.

But the idea of using the European Innovation Fund is rejected by the European Parliament, which prefers to see the 20 billion euros taken from the regular stock of emission allowances.

“We strongly disagree with getting most of the money from the innovation fund, because we need that money to support the industry's transition,” said German MEP Peter Liese, chief negotiator on the ETS. reform. He also said that countries like France and the Netherlands were on the side of Parliament.

Last week, Parliament's four largest political groups – the centre-right European People's Party (EPP), the left-wing Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the liberal Renew Europe and the Greens – presented a common position on financing Repower, including the 12 .5% from the Rural Fund. This now clears the way for trilogue negotiations between the Commission, ministers and the European Parliament.

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