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European Commission proposes new energy security strategy

The European Commission has put forward a comprehensive strategy to strengthen security of energy supply. This is in response to the current geopolitical environment and the EU´s import dependence.

The European Energy Security Strategy focusses on diversifying external energy supplies, upgrading energy infrastructure, completing the EU internal energy market and saving energy. The strategy also highlights the need to coordinate national energy policy decisions and the importance of speaking with one voice when negotiating with external partners. It builds on the progress already achieved since the gas crisis in 2009.

The proposals of the Commission, including actions to ensure uninterrupted supplies this winter, will be discussed by EU Heads of State or Government at the European Council on 26th-27th June.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: "The EU has done a lot in the aftermath of the gas crisis 2009 to increase its energy security. Yet, it remains vulnerable. The tensions over Ukraine again drove home this message. In the light of an overall energy import dependency of more than 50 percent we have to make further steps. The Commission has tabled a comprehensive strategy today which will be discussed by EU leaders in June. I count on their strong support, since increasing energy security is in all our interest. On energy security, Europe must speak and act as one."

To ensure uninterrupted supplies this winter, the Commission proposes comprehensive risk assessments (stress tests). These would be conducted on the regional or EU level by simulating a disruption of the gas supply. The aim is to check how the energy system can cope with security of supply risks and based on that develop emergency plans and create back-up mechanisms. Such mechanisms could include increasing gas stocks, decreasing gas demand via fuel-switching (in particular for heating), developing emergency infrastructure like, for example, completing reverse flow possibilities and pooling parts of the existing energy security stocks.


•Date: 29th May 2014 • Europe/UK •Type: Article • Topic: Critical infrastructure protection

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