Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has welcomed a deal on coordinated demand reduction measures for gas.
She said, “The EU has taken a decisive step to face down the threat of a full gas disruption by Putin. I strongly welcome the endorsement by Council of the Council Regulation on coordinated demand reduction measures for gas.”
She added, “The political agreement reached by Council in record time, based on the Commission’s proposal “Save gas for a safe winter” tabled last week, will ensure an orderly and coordinated reduction of gas consumption across the EU to prepare for the coming winter.
“It complements all the other actions taken to date in the context of REPowerEU, notably to diversify sources of gas supply, speed up the development of renewables and become more energy efficient.
“The collective commitment to reduce by 15% is very significant and will help fill our storage ahead of winter.”
The German born official said, “Moreover, the possibility to declare a state of EU alert triggering compulsory gas consumption reductions across the Member States provides a strong signal that the EU will do whatever it takes to ensure its security of supply and protect its consumers, be it households or industry.
“By acting together to reduce the demand for gas, taking into account all the relevant national specificities, the EU has secured the strong foundations for the indispensable solidarity between Member States in the face of the Putin’s energy blackmail. The announcement by Gazprom that it is further cutting gas deliveries to Europe through Nord Stream 1, for no justifiable technical reason, further illustrates the unreliable nature of Russia as an energy supplier. Thanks to today’s decision, we are now ready to address our energy security at European scale, as a Union.”
The EPP Group welcomes the swift agreement of EU Member States on winter gas reduction plans, but voices worries about the planned exemptions. “Only when we work together as a Union will we be able to ensure security of supply for all. The exemptions negotiated by the Member States might undermine the coherence of the EU’s efforts and weaken the message of unity, which we need in the face of Russian aggression”, said Christian Ehler MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman in Parliament’s Industry committee.
“While it is important that the exemptions reflect national realities, the Member States now need to fully engage in the coordination efforts to prevent unnecessary social and economic harm. They also have a responsibility to consult with industry on the expected impact of measures on the industrial output of Europe. Both, gas supply and industrial output are cross-border issues that cannot be managed on a purely national basis and need to be considered together in the coordination”, concluded Ehler.