PES welcomes EU energy preparedness plan

20/07/2022

European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans speaking at the Save gas for a safe winter press conference. Photo: EC Audiovisual Service.

European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans speaking at the Save gas for a safe winter press conference. Photo: EC Audiovisual Service.

Europe must stand as one in the face of reduced gas supplies, European socialists said today after the European Commission announced proposals for ensuring stability if energy challenges arise in the coming months.

The Save gas for a safe winter package – presented this afternoon by European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans – aims to save energy now, so more is available in the winter months for citizens and industry across all Member States. The plan is part of wider progressive efforts to prepare the European Union to diversify away from Russian energy.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Whatever the challenge, Europe is strongest when it is united. I hope the unity that has inspired our response to past challenges will again be present among Member States this week. It is the moment to build common resolve to reduce consumption where we can. And to exercise solidarity when it comes to supplies. As Europeans, we must look out for one another.”

Almost half of EU Member States are already affected by reduced deliveries of Russian fossil fuels. The Commission is therefore proposing a new legislative tool and a European Gas Demand Reduction Plan, to reduce gas use in Europe by 15% until next spring. An extraordinary Energy Council meeting next week, on July 26, will discuss the package.

In March, triggered by Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, Executive Vice-President Timmermans introduced plans – known as REPowerEU - to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels.

REPowerEU is a package of measures to diversify gas supplies away from Russian producers, speed up the roll-out of renewables, and replace gas in heating and power generation. Under this approach, EU demand for Russian gas will be reduced by two-thirds before the end of the year – a significant step towards energy independence for the EU.

By progressively eliminating our dependence on fossil fuel sources and by reducing the EU’s overall energy consumption through increased energy efficiency, the European Green Deal and Fit for 55 package – spearheaded by European Commission Executive Vice-President Timmermans - strengthen the EU’s security of supply.