From the Green Deal to REPower EU

What about the EU’s Southern fossil gas suppliers?

Policy Brief


The EU’s external dimension of the green deal published at the start of 2021 focuses on a just green transition, calls for the phasing out of harmful fossil fuel subsidies and discourages further investments into fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure projects in third countries. However, since the invasion of Russia in Ukraine one year later, the European Union has been wrestling to find alternatives for Russian gas.

The attention of the Member States and the European Commission turned towards its fossil fuel exporters Algeria and Egypt, with energy diplomacy doing overtime. The focus of the EU has been on

1) agreeing middle to long term fossil gas contracts

2) importing green hydrogen

This shift towards middle to long term fossil gas contracts could have an impact at a crucial moment, with the COP27 in Egypt being a disappointment to many. The EU’s actorness, including in its neighbourhood, is vital to achieve its claimed climate leadership and convincing others to follow. Also the focus on green hydrogen could jeopardise the EU’s trustworthiness.

Focusing on the export of green hydrogen for its own needs before having fulfilled the renewable energy needs of its Southern Neighbourhood partners seems to repeat the mistakes the EU made during the 2000s. The EU had been accused by its Southern Neighbourhood of green colonialism when investing in renewable energy projects such as Desertec in its South for export to the EU. Instead the EU should focus on ‘no regret’ options such as investing in an enabling framework to fulfil its fossil fuel exporting partners needs of more energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as technical assistance to tackle methane leaks and to address venting and flaring. This could liberate more fossil gas for export in the shorter term, prevent fossil fuel lock-in for its partners while being in line with its climate leadership role.

Related publications

The path towards a socially just Fit for 55 package

How have social elements of the Fit for 55 Package evolved in the context of the climate, energy, and cost-of-living crises?

The Russia-Ukraine war: An inflection point for sustainable energy transitions


The EU and North Africa: Towards a just Twin Transition?

Find all related publications

Stronger resilience through cooperation in the Sahel

'12 years of crises in the Sahel' series

The macro-economic impact of the cost crisis

Lessons for Europe

Beyond humanitarian aid: the EU’s approach to alleviating food crisis in the Sahel at a time of global insecurity

'12 years of crises in the Sahel' series

Forging Europe’s leadership

Global trends, Russian aggression and the risk of a regressive world
Find all related Progressive Post
Progressive Post

Despite the unprecedented Israeli-Palestinian crisis, new opportunities for peace emerge


Turkey in its region: security first and ‘Make Turkey Great Again’


Centennial celebrations in Turkey amidst polarisation

Find all related events
Expert meeting (online)

Boosting Economic Democracy

The theory behind the practice
European Parliament (Hybrid)

A blueprint for a Social and Green Deal

Follow-up Event of the Beyond Growth Conference
FEPS HQ, Brussels (Expert meeting)

Ensuring a Just Transition in times of industrial transformation

Find all related news

Economic Democracy

FEPS has launched an initiative on Economic Democracy

Ann Linde is FEPS’ new Foreign Affairs Special Advisor


Tax the rich

A European Citizens' Initiative

FEPS President at the SDG Summit and United Nations General Assembly in New York

Find all related in the media
In the media

Total honesty and far-right lies

by IPS Journal 04/12/2023
Dive into the insightful analysis published in IPS Journal by Tom Theuns, Assist. Prof at Leiden University, and László Andor, FEPS Secretary General, examining the Dutch election results and the conclusions that need to be drawn for a successful EU Integration

Une réforme de l’UE qui intéressera forcément les Suisses

by Le Temps 24/11/2023
'EU reform bound to be of interest to the Swiss', an opinion piece in Le Temps on EU Treaties changes by Maria João Rodrigues, FEPS President, Guillaume Klossa, Director of think tank EuropaNova and Daniela Schwarzer, Executive board member Bertelsmann Stiftung

« Le moment est venu de lancer un débat sur la réforme de l’Union européenne »

by Le Monde 22/11/2023
'The time has come to launch a debate on the reform of the European Union', an opinion piece in Le Monde on Eu Treaties changes by Maria João Rodrigues, FEPS President, Guillaume Klossa, Director of think tank EuropaNova and Daniela Schwarzer, Executive board member Bertelsmann Stiftung

A Europa em tempo de guerras

by Público 06/11/2023
'Europe in times of wars'. With two wars unfolding in the European neighbourhood, FEPS President, Maria João Rodrigues, reflects in Público on the EU's capacity to play its role as a major international actor and exert its own strategic autonomy