According to Portugal's government, the two countries together have installed capacity - including terminals for ships carrying liquefied natural gas - to supply 30% of Europe's gas needs.
Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, and his counterpart in Spain have after a working meeting to prepare the next European Union summit stressed the importance of energy interconnections, as well as emphasising their support for Ukraine as it defends itself from the invasion by Russia.
On the social network Twitter, Costa highlighted the importance of cross-border energy interconnections, particularly for natural gas, that can enable Portugal and Spain to support other European countries in supplying their needs.
The two leaders met early on Thursday evening to discuss and coordinate their governments’ position for the extraordinary summit of EU heads of state and government scheduled to take place on Monday and Tuesday in Brussels.
Energy “interconnections are a priority in the European context, but we need a real political and financial commitment from the EU,” Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, was quoted in a news release as saying.
According to Portugal’s government, the two countries together have installed capacity – including terminals for ships carrying liquefied natural gas – to supply 30% of Europe’s gas needs, but cannot make this capacity available because there is no interconnection to export the gas to the rest of Europe.
At the end of March, at a regular meeting of the European Council, the EU’s 27 member states recognised the uniqueness of Spain and Portugal in energy matters, allowing them to implement temporary and exceptional measures to reduce electricity prices for consumers and businesses.
The two heads of government also addressed the importance of European unity in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Iberian coordination strengthens bilateral relations and our common role in the strategic redefinition of Europe,” Costa wrote on his official account on Twitter.
At their summit, EU leaders are to discuss aid to Ukraine and sanctions on Russia – issues on which they are not all fully agreed, not least due to the heavy reliance of some member states on energy products from Russia.
The news release from Sanchez’s office recalls that the meeting between the two men was the “first bilateral meeting after the formation of the new Portuguese government” following January’s general election, and also dealt with “bilateral relations, which transcend the classic framework, given the breadth and depth of the common agenda.”