French and Polish companies must work together to reinvest massively in the nuclear sector, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told France‘s largest trade union conference, MEDEF, on Monday.
The MEDEF conference, which brings together the most important players in French industry, welcomed Morawiecki and put Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy online.
“Ostpolitik…lostpolitik,” Morawiecki said in his speech, calling on French and Polish companies to carry the nuclear torch.
In 2020 Warsaw, which relies heavily on fossil fuels and has no nuclear power plants for commercial use, announced it would have six nuclear reactors, but critics warn that the first nuclear power plant in operation by 2033 is a unrealistic deadline.
Meanwhile, more than 40% of France’s energy supply came from nuclear sources in 2020.
Economic recovery in Europe will need help from the private sector as 95% of German entrepreneurs say they are willing to work with their Polish counterparts, Morawiecki added.
Morawiecki’s remarks come amid warnings from French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Monday that “total” gas and electricity cuts could occur throughout the winter if nothing changes.
During the conference, the president of MEDEF, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, also criticized “certain neighbors of France” for their under-investment in nuclear energy, affirming that they “bear a heavy responsibility before History” by rendering the EU dependent on Russian gas – an obvious reference to Germany. Ostpolitik.
Zelenskyy, for his part, urged French companies to get involved in Ukraine’s reconstruction, calling on the French government and industry to sever ties with Russia and prevent Russian oligarchs from investing in the country. French real estate.
According to Yale University’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute, 243 French companies, including Auchan-Retail, dairy producers LACTALIS, and utility and utility company Veolia, are still operating in Russia as of August 29, 2022. More than 800 companies froze their activities. or have completely withdrawn from the country.
The call for nuclear capacity building comes as the energy crisis hits businesses and individuals, and the price of a megawatt per hour has hit the €1,000 mark.
In this context, Prime Minister Borne urged companies to do their part to limit their energy consumption, otherwise “total gas cuts” and possibly power cuts could occur during the winter. “Energy rationing,” she said, “would hit businesses first, and hardest.”
Although no specific measures were announced, it said it would consider creating a “trading market” in which companies would buy the right to use the energy. So far, the hope is that the willful nudge will go far before bonds are in place if all else fails.
Borne reiterated his desire to stick to the European Green Deal, which calls for a 55% reduction in the continent’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990.
Other EU countries have already announced their intention to take drastic measures to curb inflation and prepare their countries for the worst.
Germany, for example, announced a reduction in the VAT on natural gas from 19% to 7%, following the resurgence of social movements against a tax on gas, which rallied several opposition parties against the coalition in power.
The Austrian government, for its part, has called for a European energy price cap and the decoupling of electricity and gas prices. These issues should be discussed at the next Extraordinary Council of Energy Ministers scheduled for September 9.
In Ireland, the Minister for the Environment proposed on August 24 to apply higher electricity prices at peak times to avoid over-consumption and possible power cuts.
A debate over taxing models or super-profits continues to rage at the EU level, and some European countries, including Spain, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Romania and the UK Uni have already implemented such measures.
France, alongside its industry, opposes such a measure for the time being, although Borne said in an interview on Saturday with The Parisian that she would not rule the idea out if the voluntary measures did not work.