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Growing EU divisions overshadow Brussels summit

EU leaders fail to agree on energy security measures necessary to avert economic disaster in the 27-nation bloc during 2023. At a summit in Brussels, they rubber-stamped an additional €20bn in aid for Ukraine despite calls for greater focus on the growing social crisis within the EU itself. Jerome Hughes reports from the Belgian capital…

As they came together for a summit in Brussels, EU leaders were acutely aware that energy storage tanks will run dry in the coming months. There are still major divisions in the EU over a gas price cap and a proposal to buy energy from international suppliers as one single customer.

It’s thought a deal might be finalized on Monday. There are plenty of other divisions within the 27-nation EU. Austria is blocking Romania and Bulgaria from the border-free Schengen Area. Meanwhile, funding for Hungary is being withheld over rule of law issues.

A dark shadow of corruption is hanging over the EU. It emerged last Friday that Qatar has been bribing politicians and officials.

At their summit, EU leaders refused to be drawn on the question of possible sanctions against Qatar. However, they signed off on more sanctions against Russia and also Iran. The leaders agreed to provide at least €20bn to Ukraine in 2023. Campaigners say they should be doing more for their own citizens.

It’s clear that things could soon get a lot worse if the EU fails to secure a reliable long-term energy source at the right price. The costly Ukrainian refugee crisis is also growing by the day.

So, the final EU leaders summit of 2022 has now concluded. Analysts say the unprecedented challenges they will face in 2023 could stretch the EU project beyond breaking point.

Source : Press tv