EU: The 15% reduction in gas consumption in EU countries will

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The 15% reduction in gas consumption within the EU will come into force “at the beginning of next week” to lessen the impact of the reduction in Russian supplies, the Czech presidency of the EU Council announced on Friday, according to the France-Presse agency, quoted by Agerpres.

“The regulation regarding the reduction of gas demand was officially adopted. The text will be published in the Official Journal at the beginning of next week and will enter into force one day after publication,” the EU Council presidency said on its Twitter account.

The text is to be published on Monday and will enter into force on Tuesday, European diplomatic sources told France Presse.

The agreement regarding this measure was obtained during an extraordinary meeting of EU energy ministers on July 26. Only one country, Hungary, then opposed this measure considered “unjustified, useless, inapplicable and harmful”, but unanimity was not necessary and the Hungarian government could not prevent its adoption.

In the case of the text adopted on Friday, Poland also voted against it, together with Hungary.

The agreement requires each country to do “everything possible” to reduce, between August 2022 and March 2023, its gas consumption by at least 15% compared to the average of the last five years during the same period.

The measure was imposed by the reduction of gas supplies by Russia, which provided about 40% of the EU’s gas imports until last year.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, appealed to the member states “to prepare for the worst scenario” of a cessation of gas supplies by Russia.

In case of “risk of serious shortage”, an alert mechanism will make the 15% reduction “mandatory” for the 27, but this objective will be adapted to the realities of each state, especially to the capacities to export the quantities of gas saved to countries in need, thanks to a series of exemptions. The member states must, in addition, ensure 80% of the necessary gas stocks before the coming of winter.