Status: 07/20/2022 1:05 p.m.
The European Commission considers that a stoppage of gas supplies by Russia is “realistic”. However, the EU could winter safely if all member countries save 15% on gas. If necessary, the Commission wants to force savings.
In the event of a gas emergency, the European Commission has proposed a 15% reduction in gas consumption in EU member states. This should initially be voluntary, but could also become mandatory. In the event of an emergency, the Commission is seeking special powers to be able to apply even more drastic measures in Europe.
Katharina Wallrafen, ARD Brussels, on the European Commission’s preparation for a possible gas supply freeze from Russia
tagesschau24 12:00, 20.7.2022
According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the plan envisages a two-step process: first, between August 1 and March 31, member states are to achieve savings on public sector gas consumption, businesses and consumers. For example, heaters could be throttled and the operating times of nuclear power plants could be extended.
A new legal basis would be needed for the “emergency instrument”
If this is not enough, the Commission wants to act with a new “emergency instrument” and launch a “European alert”. For this, however, Member States would have to agree on a new legal basis. Energy ministers from EU countries gather for a special meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.
Von der Leyen considers a complete shutdown of gas supplies from Russia to the European Union to be likely. “We must be prepared for a possible total disruption of Russian gas supplies.” It’s a likely scenario.
Urge to act together
We have seen in the past that Russia tried to put pressure on the EU by cutting gas supplies. According to von der Leyen, a complete halt in deliveries would hit all EU countries hard. At the same time, she underlined that the EU could overcome difficulties if it acted with one voice.
She stressed that solidarity is necessary. She hopes that EU Member States are ready to help each other.