We must do whatever it takes to prepare ourselves for the situation where Europe’s gas supply from Russia is cut off. “If Putin switches off the tap, European Member States must follow the lessons learnt from the COVID pandemic. We will need an extreme level of coordination”, said Christian Ehler MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman in the European Parliament’s Industry Committee, welcoming the European Commission’s plans to mitigate the impact of a possible natural gas supply cut-off by Russia.
“If the gas supply to Europe is suddenly fully disrupted, we cannot have every Member State cutting off their cement or steel production at the same time. If, for example, Germany stops major parts of its cement production, Italy shouldn’t do the same but instead cut in other sectors. If we all stop producing cement at the same time, we will kill our construction industry. This cannot happen, so we need to coordinate”, explained Ehler.
The European Commission’s proposal is, amongst others, expected to include concrete actions to save gas, such as switching to fuel, as well as information campaigns to reduce heating and cooling, as well as mandatory limits during an alert level of crisis.
For the EPP Group, however, solidarity with countries that are the most dependent on Russia remains one of the crucial elements. “With solidarity and burden-sharing, we will make it possible for every Member State to store enough gas so that no European will be cold in winter. At the same time, we should not forget to look forward. We urgently need to step up our investments in energy infrastructure in Europe, including energy storage and trans-European connectors for gas, be it LNG or hydrogen”, concluded Ehler.
The European Commission will present its winter preparedness package later today.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States