Spain’s PM Pedro Sanchez says European Union should become more self-sufficient

SPAIN’S Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wants the European Union to end its reliance on importing energy, food and microchip technology.

He says lessons need to learned from the Covid pandemic and the year-long war in Ukraine.

Sanchez spoke in Madrid on Monday to look at his policy priorities before Spain assumes the rotating six-month presidency of the EU council in July.

Shortages caused by dependence on countries outside the EU highlighted ‘a serious threat to the competitiveness of our companies or to the security and welfare of our fellow citizens’, Sanchez said

The Prime Minister used microchips and Covid PPE equipment imported from Asia as examples during the Covid pandemic, coupled with interruption to Russian gas and grain imports caused by the Ukraine war.

The solution, he added, was to ‘re-industrialise Europe’ and ‘recover jobs and strategic capabilities that we should never have lost’.

Sanchez emphasised that the focus would not be on traditional heavy manufacturing but ‘digitalisation or ecological transition’.

He referred to the low manufacture rate of solar panels across the 27 member states of the EU.

Sanchez also announced a joint research project with EU countries would analyse the ‘strategic vulnerabilities’ of the bloc’s energy, food, health and technology supply chains.

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