EC Unveils Set of Energy Security MeasuresEU | February 16, 2016, Tuesday // 16:45| views
Vice-President for Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic (L) and Climate and Energy Commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete, speak at a joint news conference to present the Energy Security Package at EU headquarters in Brussels, Feb. 16, 2016. EPA/BGNES
The European Commission proposed on Tuesday a package of measures aimed at addressing possible interruptions of energy supply to the EU.
“These measures include moderating energy demand, increasing energy production in Europe (including from renewables), further developing a well-functioning and fully integrated internal energy market, as well as diversification of energy sources, suppliers and routes,” the Commission said in a statement.
The proposals bring more transparency to the European energy market and create more solidarity between the Member States. The package is also presented in the light of the climate change agreement adopted by world leaders in December in Paris.
The package adopted by the Commission consists of a regulation on security of gas supply; a decision on intergovernmental agreements in energy; a liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas storage strategy; and heating and cooling strategy.
The regulation on security of gas supply aims to strengthen the resilience of the EU markets when confronted by gas supply disruptions. To that end, the Commission proposes a shift from national approach to a regional approach when designing security of supply measures.
The Commission also stressed on the need to make more transparent and fully compliant with EU law the intergovernmental agreements signed by its member states with third countries and relevant to EU gas security. To achieve that objective, the Commission has introduced a mechanism that will make it possible to check compliance with competition rules and internal energy market legislation before the intergovernmental agreements are negotiated and signed and not after that.
Commission Vice-President responsible for Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic, commented in the statement: "The Energy Union Strategy, launched one year ago, promised to provide all Europeans with energy which is secure, sustainable, and competitive. By reducing our energy demand, and better managing our supply from external sources we are delivering on our promise and enhancing the stability of Europe’s energy market."
The proposals aim to prevent repetition of the gas crises of 2006 and 2009, when price disputes between Moscow and Kiev led to severe disruptions of Russian gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine’s territory.
“But the stress tests of 2014 showed we are still far too vulnerable to major disruption of gas supplies,” Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Canete, said in the same statement.
“And the political tensions on our borders are a sharp reminder that this problem is will not just go away. Today's proposals are about a reliable, competitive and flexible system in which energy flows across borders and consumers reap the benefits.”
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