Ursula von der Leyen attend today the baptism of H2Med in Alicante. The President of the European Commission will be present at the meeting held Emmanuel Macron, Pedro Sanchez Y Antonio Costa to ratify the agreement between France, Spain and Portugal for the construction of a Mediterranean hydrogen corridor that will connect the ports of Barcelona and Marseille by submarine and then continue towards the center of Europe. In Alicante some European tension lines are going to be crossed today. Let’s go see them.
Von der Leyen’s attendance at the meeting on the hydrogen corridor is very significant if we take into account the current coldness in relations between France and Germany, which we could summarize as follows: Germany needs fast alternatives to supply Russian gas; France needs time to resolve serious maintenance problems at at least 15 of its 56 nuclear reactors, alarming corrosion in cooling pipes that may force humiliating power outages this winter.
Macron denies Meloni a bilateral meeting today on Spanish soil
If, ten years from now, a renewed French nuclear park managed to become a point of support for German industry, thanks to the massive sale of electricity and the so-called pink hydrogen (atomic energy electrolysis), the relationship of forces between Berlin and Paris would change substantially. Germany obviously does not want to be dependent on French nuclear power plants. His plan is to diversify as much as possible (he has just signed a large contract with Qatar for the purchase of liquefied natural gas for 15 years) and he certainly does not rule out buying gas from Russia once the guns fall silent in Ukraine. . It will never be like before, but Berlin will return to good relations with Moscow as soon as that is possible, whatever they say in Washington.
This divergence of interests explains why Germany firmly supported the resumption of the Midcat and why France was fiercely opposed to the new gas pipeline through the Pyrenees. Now it’s clear.
Given the cooling of relations with Germany and the growing bad vibes between Macron and Giorgia Meloni, which we will explain a little later, the Eliseo could not settle the issue with a slam on Spain and Portugal. France cannot make enemies with half of Europe. For this reason, the project for a Mediterranean hydrogen corridor was put on the table through the submarine connection between Barcelona and Marseille. H2Med can be smoke in 2030, or a true strategic axis. Everything will depend on whether hydrogen has established itself as a new energy vector.
But in Alicante today we will not only talk about H2. There will be another meeting: the ninth Euro-Mediterranean summit, an informal forum that brings together the nine southern countries of the EU. The issues on the agenda are the disputed European cap on the price of gas, which has not just been agreed in Brussels, and concern about the incentives and subsidies that the United States is giving to the industry, with the risk of relocations in Europe in times of energy expensive.
The immigration issue is not foreseen, but it can come in through the window, since relations between France and Italy are getting worse again. There are three NGO ships at sea with five hundred immigrants on board, near Malta, with no port to land at. Valletta has said no and Rome remains on the hard line. Paris announced yesterday that a bilateral meeting between Macron and Meloni, which the Italian prime minister had suggested, is not scheduled in Alicante. Macron is offended with Meloni for the way in which the last landing, finally managed by France, was resolved.
France-Italy dispute in Alicante? Pedro Sanchez run away from that discussion. Concentrating these days of Advent on internal politics, he wants to be on good terms with everyone.