On the issue of energy measures, there is a difference between what member governments now guarantee and what the European Commission “coordinates” with energy ministers within the Council. While at the national level, states advocate for consumer protection, they lead the European Union’s steps towards securing the entire energy market. See an overview of the actions collected by the iROZHLAS.cz server, which are discussed by the European Union.


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The European Union is searching for a recipe for the energy crisis Photo: Albert Jia | Source: Reuters

European countries have been grappling with rising energy prices since last fall. Then as a result of the effects of Covid measures. Over time, “epidemic” problems turned into war problems.

Energy prices are affected by “market tension,” as Europe researcher Michel Hroub noted, to iROZHLAS.cz. He was referring to the International Energy Agency’s report issued last September on the decline in Russian gas supplies to Europe. “It happened that during the last quarter of last year the supply of Russian gas decreased significantly. The problem was also that at that time, the unfilled tanks leased by Russia had already been dealt with,” he added.

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Even before the Russian invasion that began last February, these concerns seeped into negotiations over the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which was halted before its launch. This was also reflected in the debate about another gas pipeline, Yamal – gas stopped flowing through it to Germany and was closed at the end of 2021.

Until then, European institutions recognized that the impulses come in waves from member states. But they hinted at the powers entrusted to them in the field of energy. Therefore, the problem is conceptually solved. However, the commission proceeded to allow member states to support consumers with higher action.

“The thought of creating a joint EU energy purchase body to achieve lower prices came along with the RePowerEU package. Although it was formally introduced in May, some parts of it have been heard since March – it was the commission’s primary communication on what is being done Set it up happening,” an escape energy expert commented.

The RePowerEU package can serve as a “timeline” for the union once it has been negotiated with European institutions and member states. For example, the Czech Minister of European Affairs Mikolás Beck (STAN) said that this is one of the priorities of the Czech presidency.

Concrete measures with immediate effects were only introduced after the Extraordinary Council of Energy Ministers in July. In the meantime, the member states had to solve the problem of natural gas supply and solve it with national energy companies.

“It is up to individual countries under what terms to accept the voluntary limit of a 15 percent reduction in natural gas consumption. Everyone took it differently. Some set specific time periods when people should light and when they should not. In the Czech Republic, recommendations came to consumers A bit late and it was general advice on how to reduce consumption.”

Michel Haroubi (European researcher)

The problem is that national governments will likely have to change energy laws in order to be able to intervene directly in the market while not overstepping their mandate.

The result is a set of proposals that have the support of most Member States and the possibility of their passage. These were dealt with by the European Commission as the body entrusted with the management of foreign trade. Now an army of officials and scientists has been tasked with solving the problem. Before moving on to the next concrete step, it was necessary to look at it in detail.”

EU energy measures

  • October 6, 2021 The consequences of the Corona virus: high energy prices

    Five countries – the Czech Republic, France, Spain, Greece and Romania – turned to other member states and the European Commission with a call for a joint solution to the rapid rise in energy prices. As part of their proposal, representatives called for better coordination to buy and build strategic gas reserves or reduce dependence on energy imports.

  • October 13, 2021 The European Commission’s reaction

    The European Union actually started dealing with energy in mid-October. At the time, the Commission announced in a press release that the reason for the high energy prices was the high demand caused by the economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic and at the same time the lack of gas supplies.

  • October 22 2021 EU summit results

    During a two-day summit in Brussels, representatives of European Union countries agreed on a common plan to deal with the rapid rise in energy prices. They agreed that states should urgently use the options offered by the commission, including targeted and short-term tax cuts, and financial support for residents or businesses.

  • February 2, 2022 green core

    The European Commission has approved the temporary inclusion of nuclear and gas energy as a clean energy source. With the rating, it came in favor of France, Poland and the Czech Republic – the countries that called for the move. They plan to use nuclear energy and gas when decommissioning coal or oil power plants and heating plants. In July, the European Parliament also approved the proposal.

  • February 24 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine

    The war in Ukraine has begun, as well as a full-blown energy crisis. Gas prices in the European market responded by increasing by more than a third, reaching more than 100 euros per megawatt-hour.

  • February 28, 2022 joint work plan

    Energy ministers met in Brussels. In a press release, they reported that they wanted to take joint measures against rising energy prices, and also supported the emergency synchronization of the European Union’s energy grid to Ukraine’s.

  • March 1, 2022 Increases in Nord Stream

    As the conflict escalated, especially after Moscow recognized the self-proclaimed breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine, Germany announced that the Nord Stream 2 project would not start operations.

    At the beginning of March, all 140 employees of the German-Russian gas pipeline operator were dismissed.

  • March 4, 2022 Maximum €200

    The wholesale price of gas in the European market exceeded 200 euros per megawatt-hour for the first time.

  • March 8, 2022 Threats of supply interruptions

    The European Commission presented a plan in which it wants to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian gas by two-thirds this year. With an end in sight “before 2030”. He wants to achieve this through a rapid transition to alternative supplies and clean energy.

    For the first time since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has openly threatened Western countries to cut off gas supplies. Specifically, the threat was related to the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

  • March 16, 2022 Czech compensation

    The European Commission has approved for the Czech Republic a plan to partially compensate energy-intensive companies in exchange for 1.4 billion euros in electricity price hikes. These arose as a result of the indirect costs of emissions under the European Union’s emissions trading scheme. According to the commission, the measure is in line with EU rules on state aid provision.

  • April 27 2022 Gazprom

    Russia’s state-owned Gazprom has completely halted gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. She justified this by saying that local gas companies refused to pay in rubles. This was followed by the suspension of deliveries to other countries as well.

  • May 18 2022 RePowerEU

    The European Commission presented the RePowerEU plan to make Europe independent of Russian fossil fuels before 2030 in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is a set of proposed measures to quickly rid the European Union of its dependence on importing fossil fuels from Russia, especially gas and oil.

  • June 14, 2022 The alleged delay in the turbines

    The problems surrounding Gazprom persisted. In mid-June, it announced that the need for repairs reduced the gas pipeline’s capacity by about 40 percent – to 100 million cubic meters per day. The Russian company justified this by delaying the return of compressor turbines of the German energy company Siemens from service in Canada. Which was supposed to continue because of the sanctions.

    German Economy Minister Robert Habeck described the supply cuts as a politically motivated move.

  • 23 June 2022 Cooperation with Norway

    The European Commission agreed with Norway to enhance cooperation. Its goal is to increase the supply of Norwegian gas to the EU member states.

  • June 24, 2022 Advise suggestions

    Proposals for potential changes to the performance of the energy market, including the decoupling of the price of gas and other energies, were due to be submitted by the end of the summer. Member states did not share the view of energy market reform. But they called for coordination on the part of the Union by the European Commission.

  • 21 July 2022 Periodic maintenance ends

    Do you resume natural gas supplies from Russia? A question that left European representatives in limbo during regular maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, however, everything returned to the state before maintenance – at 40 percent of the pipeline’s capacity.

  • 26 July 2022 energy board

    Josef Sekila (for Stan) called the first extraordinary meeting of the Council of the European Union under the leadership of the Czech Presidency. Due to the expected reduction in gas supplies from Russia, the countries of the European Union have agreed on consumption restriction rules for the upcoming heating season. Energy ministers approved the European Commission’s revised proposal, which is based on voluntary energy savings of 15%.

  • 27 July 2022 fall again

    A week after resuming operations, Nord Stream 1 said it needed to shut down another turbine for maintenance. It announced a 20 percent cut in supplies.

    According to the German government, it was just a power game, because according to it there is no technical reason to reduce gas supplies.

  • August 2022 Evolution of electricity prices

    The price of a major electricity futures contract on the European Energy Exchange (EEX) in Leipzig in mid-August exceeded 500 euros per megawatt-hour for the first time.

    A week later, the price was 700 euros. On August 29, the value exceeded 1,000 euros.

    The next day, prices began to fall, and the market response to the efforts of the member states of the union, which began discussions on the separation of gas and electricity prices.

  • September 9, 2022 The second extraordinary meeting

    Energy ministers met in Brussels for the second time during the Czech presidency to discuss possible next steps to combat the energy crisis. Representatives of member states suggested using the windfall wealth of energy producers from cheaper sources to help consumers. However, they did not agree on specific measures.

    They tasked the European Commission with the detailed preparation. The expected verdict on setting the ceiling for (Russian) gas prices was also not reached.

  • September 14, 2022 State of the Union who casts

    The European Commission has proposed limiting the income of producers of electricity produced from non-gaseous sources, which are now enjoying unprecedented profits in connection with the record rise in prices.

    According to Ursula von der Leyen, the crisis measure will bring more than 140 billion euros to member states, which, according to the head of the commission, can be used to support consumers threatened with expensive energy. The EU executive also wants member states to compulsorily reduce electricity consumption in their busiest hours by five percent. The committee recommends reducing the total demand for electricity to one tenth by the end of March next year. He also wants to work on a long-term reform of the energy market.

  • September 30, 2022 And beyond that?

    Representatives of Member States will discuss the actions proposed by the European Commission at the upcoming Extraordinary Energy Council, which the Czech Presidency convened at the end of September.

Joseph Sekila (for STAN) at the Extraordinary Energy Council | Photo: Joanna Giron | Source: Reuters

Anna Urbanova

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