Newly created the EU Energy Platform in the beginning of April 2022, is aimed at coordinating measures in securing energy supplies for the EU states, incl. through voluntary common purchase of pipeline gas, LNG and hydrogen. Thus, new platform’s “task force” has an objective of reducing EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels by enabling the EU states and neighbouring countries to have access to alternative energy supplies at affordable prices in the coming years.
Several European states have been planning recently measures to diversify supplies and reduce dependence on imported oil and gas, particularly Russian gas. Since 2020, Finland has been interconnected to Estonia via the Balticonnector, a project supported by the EU, which already increased security of supply for Finland and the Nordic region. Furthermore, in May 2022, the Poland-Lithuania Gas Interconnector started its commercial operation which reinforced operational capacity and resilience of the whole Baltic gas market; the project was supported by the EU Connecting Europe Facility.
Besides, Finland has already contracted to lease a floating LNG-import terminal from a US provider, which would be operational by the end of 2022.
The new Energy Platform Task Force starts working this June to tackle new demands of aggregation, capacity’s coordination and negotiation of energy supplies with various international partners; besides, new platform will help deliver on the REPowerEU program.
Generally, there are three task-force’s units dealing with: a) global demand and international negotiations, b) relations with the EU member states and the neighbourhood countries on energy supply, and c) resolving energy-sensitive international relations.
The Commission is of opinion to diversify presently the European energy supplies and make best use of the states’ infrastructures by contributing to states’ energy security and independence. “Through the collective political and economic weight of the EU’s 27 member states and 440 million citizens, we will work to ensure affordable and secure energy imports”, noticed Commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson.
Reference to: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_3299
History and present…
The Commission proposed an idea of creating a EU-wide platform for common gas and hydrogen purchases in March 2022 and outlined options to mitigate high energy prices; the platform’s idea was endorsed then by the EU’s Heads of State and/or Government at the European Council. Thus, already on 7 April, the EU Energy Platform was established chaired by Director-General for Energy, Ditte Juul Jørgensen. It was agreed that the Platform will be a voluntary coordination mechanism supporting the purchase of gas and hydrogen for the Union, making optimal use of the collective political and market weight of the EU.
On 5 May, the Commission and Bulgaria set up a first regional taskforce, as part of the EU’s energy platform, in coordination with neighboring states in the European South East; several additional regional “task forces” are expected soon to covering European Central Eastern part and North-West, as well as the Baltic States.
In the REPowerEU Plan, the Commission announced several other vital steps in the development of a “joint purchasing mechanism” to negotiate and contract gas purchases with countries around the world on behalf of the EU member states.
More information in the following Commission’s weblinks: – Energy Security: Commission hosts first meeting of EU Energy Purchase Platform to secure supply of gas, LNG and hydrogen; – EU Energy security webpage; – REPowerEU: A plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition