Mutual energy security assistance imperative of EU solidarity – Scholz
Clean Energy Wire
European Union countries must support each other during the current energy crisis exacerbated by Russia’s war against Ukraine, said German chancellor Olaf Scholz in a government statement to the Bundestag. “At the European level, it is important to ensure that there are no shortages in energy supply in individual member states,” said Scholz. “This is an imperative of European solidarity.” Part of a European solution to the crisis is the development of trans-European energy networks, said Scholz. Scholz emphasised that fossil fuels cannot remain part of the energy system much longer. “In the medium and long term, the only sensible answer to the current problems in the energy market is to make ourselves independent of fossil energy.”
The EU introduced rules in recent years, which “put solidarity first when it comes to dealing with disruptions to gas supply.” The solidarity principle stipulates that, in the event of a severe gas crisis, neighbouring member states will help out to ensure gas supply to households and essential social services. EU countries are required to put in place the necessary technical, legal and financial arrangements to make the provision of ‘solidarity gas’ possible in practice. EU countries must therefore conclude bilateral agreements with their neighbours and agree on the next steps should ‘solidarity gas’ be needed, said the European Commission. The first bilateral solidarity agreement was signed between Germany and Denmark on 14 December 2020 and a second by Germany and Austria on 2 December 2021.