Spain, France and Portugal have decided to bury the MidCat gas pipeline project, which Paris strongly opposed, and have promised to offer a “greener” alternative that will pass through Barcelona to Marseille. The new project, a “green energy corridor”, has been agreed at the meeting held in Brussels this Thursday between the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, the French, Emmanuel Macron, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa.
“We have reached an agreement to replace the MidCat project with a new project that will be called a green energy corridor and that will link the Iberian Peninsula to France and, therefore, the European energy market,” Sánchez announced upon entering at the summit of European Heads of State and Government.
As he explained, a “green hydrogen pipeline” will be built between Barcelona and Marseille, although, in view of the ongoing energy crisis, it will also be able to transport the gas needed by the European energy market in a “transition” period.
Although until recently Sánchez continued to support MidCat as the main energy interconnection proposal, the Spanish head of government celebrated the agreement with Paris and Lisbon as “very good news” for both the three countries involved and, above all, said , for Europe. “We are carrying out an exercise in solidarity, in a commitment to solidarity with the rest of Europe, and that solidarity is consistent with our commitment to the green energy transition, to the ecological transition,” he declared.
In terms of MidCat, Macron has shown unbeatable resistance to all kinds of pressure, including those of the other great European engine, Germany. Although at the summit in Prague, two weeks ago, the Spanish delegation raised great expectations for the meeting, since it was Macron himself who proposed the tripartite meeting and proposed that it be in Paris, something that has finally been ruled out, the Since then, Elíseo had taken it upon himself to stifle expectations that Macron might change his mind about his outright opposition to MidCat.
“Our position on the MidCat is constant, it has not changed and it is based on the verification that this project does not present economic and environmental viability as far as we are concerned”, settled sources from the French presidency on the eve of the meeting. “We know that the prospects for the MidCat project are five or six years away, which does not contribute anything to energy security, neither for France nor for the Iberian Peninsula nor for Europe in the short term,” insisted the Elysee. It was also significant in this sense that Germany was not invited to the meeting in Brussels prior to the European event in which, finally, a new gas pipeline was chosen.