The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, met yesterday, Saturday, February 5, at La Moncloa with the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, to discuss the situation in Ukraine after the invasion of the Russian Federation, and its economic effects, as well as energy security and the defense of the European Union. During her speech, Ms. Von der Leyen stressed that Spain is a “key partner” for the presidency of the European Commission.
Europe is today more united and more determined than ever in actions against Putin and in solidarity with Ukraine.
The Government of Spain, in the face of the serious humanitarian crisis generated by this war, offered the “absolute availability” to receive refugees. The President of the Commission, who stressed that there are already more than 1,200,000 people who have fled the war, and thanked Spain for its solidarity in welcoming refugees, as it has traditionally done when necessary.
“Ukrainians are showing determination in defending their freedom. Once again, we declare our admiration and solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Europe is today more united and more determined than ever, the president stressed,” Sanchez emphasized. At the meeting, Sánchez and Von der Leyen were accompanied by the First Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, and the Third Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera.
Measures in the energy field
The President of the Government and the President of the European Commission addressed the enormous economic impact of the conflict. They also discussed how the unprecedented escalation of energy prices is affecting family economies, SMEs, industries and inflation. Both agreed on the “urgency of taking far-reaching measures in the energy field, both from the point of view of supply and prices”. In this sense, as highlighted by Sánchez, “Spain has been demanding immediate and forceful measures to cushion the impact of gas prices in the wholesale electricity market”.
Von der Leyen pointed out that Spain, “at the forefront of knowledge and use of renewable energies”, will play an important role in the supply of energy to Europe. For this reason, the President of the Commission stressed the need to work on interconnections between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of the European Union.
On the other hand, both agreed on the importance of strengthening the EU’s common security and defense policy. In this sense, the head of the Executive stressed that he hopes that the next NATO Summit, which will take place on June 29 and 30 in Madrid, will serve to underline the complementarity between the defense policies of both organizations.
The EU’s strategic autonomy was another of the issues discussed during the meeting. Both leaders share the need for the EU to strengthen industry and technological development in key sectors, diversify import and export markets and accelerate the green and digital transitions. “Undoubtedly, all of these are major strategic challenges that we will have to address in the coming months. But I have no doubt that the European Union will emerge stronger from them”, concluded the President of the Government.
More information: La Moncloa