NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Europe must “re-industrialize” to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on third countries for energy and key raw materials, Spain's prime minister said Tuesday.
Prime Minister Petro Sanchez said after talks with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides in the Cypriot capital that Europe needs to be “strategically autonomous,” especially in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Sanchez, whose country assumes the European Union’s rotating presidency Jul. 1st, said this push toward less reliance on others for defense, as well as high-tech hardware such as semi-conductors and microchips doesn’t mean regression to a state of economic protectionism.
The Spanish premier said the EU needs to reach out to key regions such us the Caribbean and Latin America as well as nations on its southern periphery including Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon and Jordan.
A summit between the EU and the so-called southern neighborhood countries is set for December.
Sanchez called a reduction on coal use in energy generation an “absolute priority” for Europe, as well a balancing out the cost of energy between producers and consumers.
Christodoulides said both leaders agreed to seek out alternative energy routes as well as nudging forward the EU’s pivot toward ‘green’ energy. Cyprus, Greece and Israel agree that the eastern Mediterranean with its substantial natural gas deposits could offer the EU an energy alternative.
Christodoulides said the “time has finally come” for the EU to come at an overall agreement on dealing with migration which is a key issue for both Spain and Cyprus as front-line states.