Search
Close this search box.

Politco: ‘Far-right’ France risks paralyzing EU’s Green Deal – ‘Everybody’s freaking out’ – EU diplomat: ‘This is all crazy stuff & really dangerous’ – ‘They would probably break EU law to do away with the Green Deal, for sure’

https://www.politico.eu/article/far-right-france-risks-paralyzing-eu-green-deal/

National Rally (RN), which along with its allies bagged one in three votes nationwide in the initial round of the French election last Sunday, has vowed to overhaul the country’s energy and climate policies if given the opportunity to govern.

But imposing its program, from cutting taxes to freezing wind expansion and overhauling France’s electricity trade, also means breaking European Union laws. And it may achieve exactly the opposite of the National Rally’s stated goal of cutting energy bills for French people.

A far-right government in Paris would also have broader implications at a time when the EU’s landmark Green Deal climate package is facing mounting backlash across the bloc.

“This is all crazy stuff and really dangerous,” said a second EU diplomat, likewise granted anonymity. “They would probably break EU law to [do] away with the Green Deal, for sure.”

On climate, “France’s leadership role would go to minus 10,” the second diplomat added. “That’s why everybody’s freaking out.”

Jordan Bardella, president of the RN, has vowed to turn France into an “energy paradise” and has railed against the “punitive ecology” of Brussels.

His proposals include slashing the value-added tax on gas, power and fuel from 20 percent to 5.5 percent; freezing all new wind projects; and easing energy efficiency requirements for homeowners looking to sell their properties.

But doing so would be illegal — either now or down the line, according to Nguyen.

Under a 2006 EU law, EU countries cannot unilaterally reduce VAT on motor fuels, he noted. Moreover, slowing energy efficiency and renewables makes it “100 percent” likely France will miss its legally required green targets for 2030.

The party isn’t looking for a fight with the European Commission, according to National Rally MEP Mathilde Androuët. Instead, it plans to negotiate exemptions using France’s position as a net contributor to the EU budget as leverage.

Share: