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Gas-sharing move to secure EU gas supply

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Gas-sharing move to secure EU gas supply

Photo Naftogaz of Ukraine

(STRASBOURG) - Any EU member state facing an urgent gas shortage will be able to trigger cross-border assistance from its neighbours under new cooperation rules approved by the European Parliament Tuesday.

Under the new framework, sufficient gas supply for households, district heating and essential social services such as hospitals take priority. A member state can activate the solidarity mechanism and call on other member states to help tackle a severe crisis.

The regulation forms part of the EU's 'sustainable energy security package', which, together with revised legislation on Intergovernmental Agreements adopted earlier this year increases overall transparency on the gas market and strengthens the EU's resilience to gas supply disruptions.

Around 65 per cent of the EU's current annual gas demand of 400 billion cubic meters is imported - mainly from Russia, Norway and Algeria.

The new rules establish four "risk groups" of member states, which will take part in "risk associated cooperation" and undertake joint risk assessments and joint preventive and emergency measures.

There will be three energy supply crisis levels - early warning, alert, and emergency - which member states can declare by informing the European Commission and the competent authorities in their risk groups and in adjacent member states.

The Commission will have the right to request access to any gas supply contracts important for security of supply (representing 28% of the annual gas consumption in the member state). The Commission can also ask for the details of other commercial agreements that are relevant to set up the gas supply contract, including gas infrastructure contracts.

"Member States are committing to help each other if gas supplies to citizens are disrupted," said Parliament's rapporteur Jerzy Buzek MEP: "The new Regulation will strengthen regional cooperation in emergency planning and crisis prevention, and make gas contracts more transparent."

Once endorsed by EU Council, the revised Security of Gas Supply Regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and enters into force 20 days after publication.

Further information, European Parliament

Draft report on measures to safeguard the security of gas supply

Procedure file

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