Solidarity lies at the heart of the new gas supply regulations among EU member states in which neighbors will help each other out with gas supplies in the event of supply crises, according to the EC on Tuesday.
The European Commission (EC) welcomed the European Parliament's strong support for the new security of new gas supply regulations passed, applying the solidarity principle for the first time, the EC announced.
"The new rules will put solidarity first when it comes to dealing with disruptions to gas supply. They ensure a regionally coordinated and common approach to security of supply measures among EU Member States," the EC said.
The EC explained that member states will have to help their neighbors out in the event of a serious crisis so European households will have assess to gas heating and not remain in the cold.
Securing energy supplies to European consumers is one of the "cornerstones" of the Energy Union and a key priority of the Juncker Commission, according to the EC.
"Energy security is one of the key elements of the Energy Union. In this context, solidarity, closer regional cooperation and greater transparency of gas contracts were at the heart of our strategy. Therefore, I welcome today's vote by the European Parliament," European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union Maros Sefcovic was quoted as saying.
The EC added that the following rules are the main improvements in the revised gas supply regulation:
– Introduction of a solidarity principle: In the event of a severe gas crisis, neighboring Member States will help out to ensure gas supply to households and essential social services
– Closer regional cooperation: Regional groups facilitate the joint assessment of common security of supply risks and the development and agreement on joint preventive and emergency measures
– Greater transparency: Natural gas companies will have to notify long-term contracts that are relevant for security of supply – 28 percent of the annual gas consumption in the Member State
After the gas crises of 2006 and 2009, the EU reinforced its security of gas supply notably by adopting the first security of gas supply regulation in 2010. However, many EU countries are still vulnerable to supply disruptions, the EC noted.
By Ebru Sengul
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