Consultation: boosting the security of gas supplies for Europe

Consultation: boosting the security of gas supplies for Europe

Thursday, 15 January, 2015

The European Commission has opened a new consultation seeking views on EU rules to guarantee the security of gas supplies, in a bid to further improve Europe’s resilience to gas supply disruptions.

In October last year the European Commission carried out ‘stress tests’ aiming to identify the effects of a possible partial or complete disruption of gas supplies from Russia. The tests showed how EU rules adopted in 2010 have already made Europe better prepared for a possible gas supply disruption. For example, EU countries are now better prepared to coordinate their actions in case of a supply crisis and are better protected thanks to bilateral gas flows in cross-border pipelines.

However, the stress tests also revealed some areas for improvement, including the need for deeper cooperation and coordination between EU countries. This would further lessen the vulnerability of EU countries to a cut in gas supplies.

“There is scope to strengthen the EU’s preparedness and capacity to respond effectively to gas supply crises,” a Commission report on the result of the stress tests said. “The lessons of recent risks to security of supply in the EU…such as the prolonged cold spell in 2012 or the geopolitical risks having an impact on EU energy security such as the 2014 crisis in Ukraine, should be pulled together in a review of possible improvements,” it added.

The consultation is open until 18 March 2015. The Commission will then analyse the contributions and consider which additional measures are needed to tighten the security of Europe’s gas supply.

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