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The European Commission has proposed that EU member states reduce their


Last week a last-minute proposal from the European Commission shows that the authorities are preparing to implement an unprecedented measure that will apply from August 1, 2022.

Thus, the European Commission proposed that EU member states reduce their natural gas consumption by 15% from August to March. Even if the target were voluntary, the European authorities could make it mandatory in case of emergency.

However, the EU plan has faced resistance from several countries. In this context, diplomats discussed a revised proposal on Monday, July 25, before energy ministers tried to reach an agreement on Tuesday.

Following discussions, the proposal would maintain the voluntary target for all countries to reduce gas consumption, but would offer a number of exemptions from the mandatory target, according to information provided by reuters.com

Thus, “Everyone must contribute as much as possible”, said a senior EU diplomat, pointing out that the latest proposal should cover the shortfall of a gas demand of 45 billion cubic meters, which, according to operators of gas networks in Europe, would be caused by an interruption of deliveries to Russia this winter.

In fact, the EU countries have reduced their combined gas consumption by only 5% so far, despite the months of rising prices and the reduced supply from Russia, the mentioned source writes.

The latest proposal would exempt from the obligation to reduce gas consumption countries without connections to the EU’s gas networks, such as the island countries of Ireland and Malta. States with large volumes of stored gas could face lower targets, as could states that export gas to other countries, including Spain, which does not rely on Russia for gas and has criticized the EU proposal.

The warning issued by the European Commission

The European Commission will warn member states that consumption reduction targets will become mandatory in the event of severe supply disruptions, according to an official document.

Therefore, “If we act together now, disruptions will be smaller and less expensive, facilitating solidarity and avoiding the need for unplanned and uncoordinated actions later, in the event of a potential crisis situation generated by the reduction of reserves”, is written in the European Commission document .