European Parliament endorses demands for Gerhard Schröder to be added to the EU sanctions list and for the creation of a new Strategic Autonomy Fund for Europe (SAFE)

Author: Alberto Cuena Vilches

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European Strategic Autonomy

We welcome the European Parliament's adoption of the Renew Europe-led resolution on “The social and economic consequences for the EU of the Russian war in Ukraine”. The resolution recalls the urgent need for a full embargo of Russian energy imports and the extension of the sanctions to Navalny’s list of 6,000 individuals and GRU affiliated ‘news agency’ InfoRos. It urges the European Council to extend sanctions to European members of the boards of major Russian companies, including former German Prime Minister Gerhard Schröder, if he does not resign from his responsibilities at Nordstream.

Given the current context of unrelenting inflationary pressures, the adopted text also foresees a new resilience package to cope with the consequences of the war faced by EU Member States. This package would include both relief measures with a social perspective, especially focused on young people, and business measures; primarily targeted at European SMEs, urging the Commission to come forward with new proposals to encourage private actors to invest in the EU and strengthen the single market for services.

Moreover, our political Group, through its Vice-President Luis Garicano, advocated for the creation of a Strategic Autonomy Fund for Europe ("SAFE"), intended to strengthen the EU's capacity to act and to provide us with the necessary investments to advance the EU's so-called strategic autonomy in key areas such as energy infrastructures, cybersecurity, industrial competitiveness or food security, among others. The management of this new Fund should be based on the lessons learned from NextGenerationEU.

Finally, damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure has already amounted to more than $94 billion according to the Kyiv School of Economics. Total economic losses are estimated at $600 billion. For this reason, our group has negotiated hard to call for the cancellation of Ukraine's debt relief and a Solidarity Trust Fund to rebuild Ukraine, as well as rapid economic and social assistance to Ukrainian refugees.

MEP Luis Garicano (Ciudadanos, Spain), Renew Europe Vice-President and coordinator on Economic and Monetary Affairs committee (ECON), stated:

"It is outrageous that Gerhard Schröder continues to get paid for his position in Rosneft. Being a former Chancellor should not shield him from being sanctioned. Let´s end this impunity"