Culture notes: European unity feels the heat

Sky-high energy prices are testing what different European states mean by solidarity, writes Catherine Fieschi.

The World Today
Published 28 September 2022 Updated 29 September 2022 2 minute READ

Catherine Fieschi

Director, Counterpoint

In the face of existential challenges such as the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the European Union was able to maintain cohesion while battling common threats amid divergent interests – an improvement on its past record.

Its Covid vaccination plan saw the EU collectively purchase vaccines and redistribute them swiftly and fairly. Its NextGenerationEU recovery plan unlocked a whopping €750 billion for post-Covid regeneration. The EU has sought to apply the same approach to the Russian war against the Ukraine and to the energy crisis it is now facing as a consequence.

The Fit for 55 climate and RePowerEU plans aim to redesign energy production and use. Building on these schemes, the EU adopted seven packages of sanctions against Russia that have restricted the purchase of Russian gas and have driven Russia to switch off the tap in retaliation.

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