Safe gas for a safe winter

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2022) 360
Publication Date 20/07/2022
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Communication adopted by the European Commission on 20 July 2022, setting out measures aimed at tackling further disruption in gas supplies from Russia in a coordinated manner ahead of the winter season.

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Russia's invasion of Ukraine further added to the volatility of energy markets, fuelling energy insecurity across the world and with particular impact on the European Union (EU) and its immediate neighbourhood. In May 2022, the European Commission adopted its REPowerEU strategy aimed at bringing dependence on Russian gas to an end as soon as possible. However, there is an understanding that the EU should accelerate its preparations for the immediate impact that potential further disruptions - including a complete cut-off - of Russian gas supplies could have. The European Council requested in May and June 2022 that such preparations were carried out as a matter of urgency.

This Communication provides an overview of a further set of actions that complement measures already in place to prepare for disruption. This is known as the Safe Gas for Winter package. It focuses on the demand side. It reviews the existing situation and the steps already taken, and it outlines the tools that the EU has available to respond. It also proposes additional actions for a coordinated demand reduction, and a ramping up of the EU's joint efforts on supply. Among the actions, the Commission put forward a new European Gas Demand Reduction Plan (annex of the Communication) and a draft Council Regulation envisaging an immediate recommendation for a voluntary gas demand reduction in all Member States, as well as a process to trigger a binding demand reduction target should it became necessary.

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Commentary and Analysis
International Monetary Fund (IMF): Blog, 19/07/2022: How a Russian Natural Gas Cutoff Could Weigh on Europe’s Economies
France24, 19/07/2022: Can Europe keep the heating on this winter amid Russian gas crunch?
Vox, 20/07/2022: Europe’s gas crisis is here
Politico, 20/07/2022: Europe’s war economy gets real
Emerging Europe: News & Analysis, 20/07/2022: Is Europe about to call Russia’s bluff over gas supplies?

Politico, 19/07/2022: EU braces for Russian gas shutoff as economic crisis looms
The Guardian, 20/07/2022: EU urges member states to slash gas use by 15% to counter ‘Russian blackmail’
EurActiv, 20/07/2022: Brussels lays out EU gas crisis plan ahead of coming winter
EUObserver, 20/07/2022: EU Commission set to unveil gas-reduction plan
Reuters, 20/07/2022: EU tells members to cut gas usage amid new Putin warning
BBC News, 20/07/2022: EU told to prepare for Russian gas shut-off
Euronews, 20/07/2022: EU must cut gas use by 15% this winter over Russian disruption fears, Commission says
Deutsche Welle, 21/07/2022: Russian gas again flowing into Europe via Nord Stream 1 pipeline
The Guardian, 21/07/2022: Russia resumes gas supply to Europe via Nord Stream at lower capacity

European Commission: Press Release, 20/07/2022: Save Gas for a Safe Winter: Commission proposes gas demand reduction plan to prepare EU for supply cuts
European Commission: Questions and Answers on the EU ”Save Gas for a Safe Winter” Plan (20 July 2022)
European Commission: Statement by President von der Leyen on the ‘Save gas for a safe winter' Package (20 July 2022)
European Commission: Opening remarks by Executive Vice-President Timmermans, Commissioner Simson and Commissioner Breton at the press conference on the Save Gas for a Safe Winter package (20 July 2022)

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