Photo: President of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen.

Power Grab? After Russia Energy Sanctions, EU Wants To Force Member States To Save Gas

After imposing energy sanctions on Russia in retaliation for the war in Ukraine, the European Union wants to force member states to save gas as part of an eventual gas emergency plan.

According to the plan, the EU commission would be able to impose binding saving targets on member states if households and companies do not voluntarily save enough gas.

EU countries, and in particular, Germany are facing an energy crisis with shock energy prices.

The gas emergency plan would provide for a two-stage mechanism to address energy shortages: “In a first step, the member states have the opportunity to implement the necessary reductions on a voluntary basis,” the paper says.

If the situation becomes critical, “the Commission can activate a mandatory reduction to ensure the necessary overall EU reduction for a safer winter for all.”

The current draft asks to give the EU power to declare emergency alerts over gas shortages. It calls for “a process to declare an EU alert level at any time in the coming weeks or months if the situation and the outlook change negatively, if the balance between supply and demand is at stake and if the situation is likely to become an emergency leads.”

The EU has said the proposed emergency powers are necessary because “no member state alone can adequately or effectively combat the risks of serious economic difficulties resulting from price increases or supply disruptions.”

If granted, the emergency powers would give the EU yet another right of imposition over member states.

The EU draft paper says “The EU is currently in a precarious situation of gas supply security,” and it is time “for the EU to anticipate risks and improve preparation for gas security”.

The emergency plan is to be adopted at a special summit of energy ministers on July 26.

The EU says the energy shortages are due to Russian cuts. But the energy shortages started with EU sanctions on Russian gas and oil imports. Recently, Russia stopped gas supplies to Germany because of maintenance work on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Russia has said it will resume supplies when the works are completed, albeit at reduced levels.

The EU draft paper says “The EU is currently in a precarious situation of gas supply security,” and it is time “for the EU to anticipate risks and improve preparation for gas security”.

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