Wester van Gaal, EUobserver

Wester van Gaal


Amsterdam, NH, Netherlands

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Past articles by Wester:

'Crunch time' for EU's debt and deficit debate

European finance ministers sought to unblock talks over reforming the EU's debt and deficit rules. → Read More

Member states voice support for strong nature restoration law

EU member states on Tuesday voiced support for an ambitious nature restoration law which will set legally binding targets for nature restoration for 20 percent of Europe's land and sea area's by 2030. → Read More

Energy crisis costs thousands of EU jobs, but industrial output stable

Thousands of Europeans have lost their jobs as a result of the energy crisis, a new report shows, but overall industrial output has remained stable throughout the year. → Read More

The EU gas cap: will the bottle ever be 'uncorked'?

EU member states could not agree on a plan to cap the price of wholesale gas, with some experts suggesting the EU should forget about the plan altogether. → Read More

'No substance' price ceiling for gas leaves everyone disgruntled

A European Commission proposal to limit the price of gas to €275 per megawatt-hour was immediately slammed by experts and politicians alike. → Read More

Report: Renewables best way to deal with inflation

Some EU politicians want to expand gas supply to deal with high energy prices, but global think tanks Ember and E3G claim a better way to deal with high energy prices is by fast-tracking renewables. → Read More

Germany needs to cut gas use by 20% to stave off winter crisis

Germany must cut its gas use by a fifth if it wants to prevent an energy shortage this winter. If it fails to reach 20 percent gas savings, the country is at "serious risk" of an energy crunch. → Read More

EU urged to stop issuing tourist visas to Russians

Finnish and Estonian leaders want EU countries to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens in protest at the war against Ukraine. → Read More

EU greenlights Croatia to join euro in January

In a signing ceremony held in Brussels EU finance ministers formally approved Croatia joining the eurozone on January 1, 2023. → Read More

Germany to quit Russian coal on 1 August, oil on 31 December

Germany will end purchases of Russian coal on 1 August and quit Russian oil on 31 December, German state secretary Jörg Kukies said in Sydney. → Read More

ECB exits negative rates, amid fears of a new eurocrisis

Christine Lagarde said the ECB's governing council had "unanimously" decided to end negative interest rates — but it is unclear what the bank will do if a new crisis erupts in the eurozone. → Read More

EU's Russian gas exit plan at risk of being undermined

Activists warn Europe's Russian-gas exit strategy may be derailed if fossil hydrogen is expanded and labelled a green energy source in the revised Renewable Energy Directive currently underway. → Read More

Putin's ruble shift: mistake or masterstroke?

Russia's plans to demand ruble payments for natural gas purchases from "unfriendly nations," unveiled on Wednesday, further escalated the battle of sanctions with Europe, but experts are divided on what Russia will gain from it. → Read More

Wariness over more shared EU borrowing

There was no breakthrough on further debt mutualisation at a finance ministers' meeting, but they did loosen anti-subsidy rules. → Read More

What the Russia conflict might mean for gas prices

In the worst-case scenario gas suppliers wouldn't be able to rebuild their inventories over the summer, industries would have to shut down, and energy rationing may be inevitable. → Read More

Polish efforts to extend Turów coal license dealt a setback

A Warsaw court ruled that the Polish government acted unlawfully by fast-tracking an environmental permit to extend the life of a large lignite mine in Turów → Read More

The Shell 'carbon capture' plant that emits more than it captures

The NGO Global Witness found that Shell Quest, a blue hydrogen and carbon capture pilot facility in Alberta, emitted more CO2 than it captured. → Read More

Environment minister: Germany will likely miss climate targets

In the coming two years, The EU's biggest economy will likely miss its climate targets, co-leader Robert Habeck said. → Read More

Activists slam tweak to EU carbon allowance scheme

Ahead of EU environment ministers' meeting, environmental groups sent a joint letter urging ministers to "uphold the 'polluter-pays' principle, as enshrined in EU law when reforming the Emissions Trading System." → Read More

EU leaders: No agreement on energy prices

EU leaders failed to agree on how to respond to high energy prices on Thursday's European Council summit. → Read More