Waft of solidarity in EU gas law

Published on 17 July 2009 at 14:00

The EU will be in future be better prepared for potential interruptions in natural gas supplies, writes Rzeczpospolita, discussing a draft new law presented by the European Commission. It provides for a further development of the EU’s gas transit system and the creation of reserves. In case of interruptions in supplies from Russia, member states could be supplied from alternative sources (storage facilities or other EU countries). The threshold above which Brussels announces a red alert and calls member states to help those most exposed would be reduced from the existing 20 percent of supplies to just 10 percent in a single-day interruption. For EU member states to be able to help each other in such situations, spending on transit infrastructure is needed, estimated by the Commission at €2.5 billion. Marcel Vietör, expert for the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), believes that despite the significant costs involved, it is likely that the Commission’s proposals will be endorsed. ‘Even the energetically secure countries understand the others’ worries,’ the German expert told Rzeczpospolita.

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