The EU energy crisis is causing many things to falter: Germany’s previous position as the economic locomotive of the bloc of states, loyalty to the sanctions against Russia, the governability of entire states. However, all emergency measures do not help beyond an insight.

No, he does not expect EU citizens to share their bathing water with their family members in the future, said EU Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans. They should still save electricity.

Consumption in the EU countries should fall by at least ten percent by March 31, 2023. The EU Commission does not say exactly how this should work. She leaves it at the appeal that the member states should take “appropriate measures” and help each other when there is a shortage of energy.

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Above all, Germany as an economic powerhouse, with its high energy requirements, its voluntary renunciation of nuclear power and its long-standing unhesitating dependence on Russian energy imports, is increasingly dependent on door-to-door contact with its European partners.

“Germany cannot stop the production of nuclear energy on the one hand and ask the Dutch for gas solidarity on the other,” warned the chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP), Manfred Weber, in the European Parliament.

And something else is a thorn in the side of the CSU man who chairs the EPP group in the EU Parliament: that Chancellor Olaf Scholz now has to beg French President Emmanuel Macron to stop blocking himself from a new pipeline with which the Spaniards could be better connected to the European energy grid and feed gas into it.

Weber has “little sympathy” for the French resistance to corresponding German, Spanish and Portuguese wishes, according to those around him.

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Macron has just announced that his country could help Germany with gas next winter. At the moment, of course, the French are getting their electricity from the Germans because a large part of their nuclear power plants had to be taken off the grid due to maintenance and cooling problems.

The energy expert of the FDP in the Bundestag Economic Committee, Gerald Ullrich, rules out the possibility that the “Grande Nation” could retaliate by supplying its own electricity to its German neighbors in winter. When their kilns were running again, they needed the electricity themselves in winter because heating with electricity was widespread in France.

In a webinar by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, which is close to the FDP, the liberal also called on German politicians to pour the citizens pure wine about the seriousness of the situation. The relatively high filling level in German gas storage facilities, which is currently being celebrated by Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens), is mainly due to the fact that systems are switched off, i.e. production is declining.

Germany could still “get into a gas shortage very quickly”. The gloomy prediction of entrepreneur and energy expert Ullrich: “There will be an overall loss of prosperity.”

There are certainly approaches to this understanding at EU level. While Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in this year’s State of the Union address, dressed in the Ukrainian national colors of blue and yellow, mainly reveled in praise for the heroism of the Ukrainians and invoked European solidarity, her deputy Timmermans warned: “The next winters, not just the upcoming one will be difficult.”

The Dutchman added another insight: “That the age of cheap fossil fuels is over.” Emergency measures such as EU-wide temporary profit skimmings from high-earning energy companies and a redistribution to citizens and companies in the stranglehold of high bills should sweeten this bitter pill – and of course hope that the switch to renewable energies will now proceed even more quickly.

Meanwhile, the hour has come for populists on both ends of the political spectrum. Özlem Alev Demirel, MEP for the left, accused von der Leyen of “heroizing war” and accused the Commission President and the “EU elites” of indifference to the needs of desperate citizens in the face of horrendous gas and electricity bills.

The head of the AfD MEPs in the European Parliament, Nicolaus Fest, announced: “Von der Leyen wants to deepen the anti-German and economically destructive sanctions and squander billions more in taxpayers’ money in Ukraine.” heated apartments”.

In her annual “Speech from the Throne” von der Leyen proclaimed a “Winter of Solidarity”. The Vice President of the European Parliament, the FDP MP Nicola Beer, however, warned of a “winter of rage”. European voters are already heating up their leaders for fear of cold rooms.

The apparently imminent culture break of participation by the extreme right in the next Swedish government speaks in favor of this, as do the election campaigns in Italy and Bulgaria, in which energy prices on the one hand and the sensibleness of the sanctions against Russia on the other play a role.

The EU parliamentary speaker for the perennial obstructionist in the Union, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Fidesz MEP Tamas Deutsch has long had the answer to the latter question ready: “The sanctions have backfired.”

According to Von der Leyen, however, the “toughest sanctions the world has ever seen” resulted in: “Russian industry is on the rocks.” Putin’s army “loots chips from dishwashers and refrigerators to repair military equipment because there are no semiconductors gets more”. Now stick together a bit on the energy front, that’s her message, then we’ll make it.

Greek MEP Maria Spyraki, a member of the same political camp as von der Leyen, the European People’s Party, countered: “I’m going to Thessaloniki tomorrow. I have to explain to the people there what the solidarity we are talking about here means in practice, especially in a harsh winter.”

In the face of a country like Greece, to which Germany instructed how sensible government action works during the euro crisis, it will be difficult for the Federal Republic to answer this question. The current Scholz line means: self-castration in the domestic energy supply while at the same time refusing heavy tank weapons to Ukraine.

So we want help from our EU partners because we have fallen flat on our stomachs because of our illusionary hope for an energy transition with the help of Russian gas. At the same time, we refuse courageous military aid to the bloodiest victim of this Putin Russia, Ukraine. How do we want to keep the European sanctions and solidarity front together with such an attitude?

Yes, we should have listened earlier to Poland and other Central Eastern European and Baltic states, as von der Leyen admitted in her State of the Union address. But in Berlin, a Chancellor of the SPD, which apparently still does not want to fundamentally clarify its relationship with Russia, only listens with half an ear.

This is not a good starting point for averting what Renato Brunetta, Minister of Public Administration in Italy’s outgoing Draghi government, wrote in the Corriere della Sera: “Winter is approaching, time is running out and selfishness is growing.”