The European Parliament and Council negotiators reached an agreement last night on the new Regulation on Security of Gas Supply. The new rules ensure a regionally co-ordinated shared approach to security of supply between EU countries. From now on, the EU will be better equipped to manage shortages if a gas crisis occurs.

Theresa Griffin, S&D MEP and negotiator on the security of gas supply, said:

“Last night’s agreement is a big step towards strengthening the EU’s energy security. In the case of a serious gas-supply crisis, EU countries will have to help their neighbours in order to prevent anyone being left without a heating supply in cold weather. For the first time, the solidarity principle will apply.

“Presently, gas covers around a quarter of the EU’s energy demand and two thirds of the EU’s gas is imported, making security of gas supply a key priority. Although EU countries had taken some steps after the gas crises of 2006 and 2009, some EU countries still remained vulnerable to supply disruptions. Closer regional co-operation among member states on preventive and emergency measures is the best way to ensure security of gas supply.

“While a blocking minority in the Council had been stalling negotiations, the European Parliament was finally able to get things moving. Last night we obtained the inclusion of commercial contracts for the development and operation of infrastructure in the transparency obligations; not only future gas contracts but also existing gas contracts above a certain threshold will be included. Our Group ensured that member states will now also have to take energy-efficiency measures into account when drafting their plans on security of supply.”

Note to editors:

Following last night's political agreement, the text will have to be formally by the European Parliament and the Council as a whole.

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