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S&Ds welcome the European Commission’s plan for greater independence from Russian gas and more energy security


09 Mar 2022



The S&Ds welcomed the European Commission’s idea to propose an obligation for all EU member states to have all gas reserves 90% full on 1 October of each year. According to the S&D Group, who has long been calling for such a measure, this would be crucial to avoid price volatility every heating season. The Socialists and Democrats also called on the Commission to elaborate a plan to get rid of Russian fossil fuel supplies and make sure the necessary infrastructure for alternative sources is in place throughout the EU.

Mohammed Chahim MEP, S&D vice-president responsible for the energy aspects of the Green Deal, said:

“We need to gain independence from Russian gas to stop financing Putin’s war. I believe the RePowerEU plan helps us achieve this, while at the same time reduces our energy vulnerabilities by increasing renewable energy and the diversification of our energy supply.

“In addition to this, I think it is important to stick to the plan, and our plan is the European Green Deal. We are aware that replacing Russian gas will come at a price and we need to make sure that lower and medium income households and small and medium-sized enterprises don’t carry the burden. To ensure this, we need energy autonomy as soon as possible.”

Dan Nica MEP, S&D spokesperson in the European Parliament’s committee on industry, research and energy, said:

“Our group can only be happy that the European Commission finally heard our calls in the European Parliament for a mandatory minimum of gas reserves throughout the EU at the beginning of every heating season. The idea presented today by the European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, is the only adequate and logical one. Even before the war in Ukraine started, it had been crystal clear that the volatility of energy prices was also due to the low level of gas reserves. This is why our citizens are having to pay shocking electricity bills and European business is suffering under the burden of high costs of production.

‘For this reason, I am personally convinced we need to have as soon as possible a joint procurement mechanism for gas storages to ensure security of supply and independence from Russian gas. This would mean we would negotiate the price as a Union, not as this or that member state, and strategic reserves would be available for those in need. This will help us to give our energy system enough stability to speed up the transition and the objectives of the Green Deal.  We also need to have clear rules and safeguards on how to define a dominant market position and an abuse of a dominant position on the energy market in order to have a functional energy market!”