01 December 2022,   17:55
Commission will table a proposal to fill up underground gas storages to at least 90% of their capacity by 1 October each year - Ursula von der Leyen

At the joint press conference with President Michel and President Macron following the informal meeting of Heads of State or Government, European Commission President talked about the Ukrainian crisis.

“This crisis has indeed made us face up to our responsibilities in the face of a new reality. First, our duty to continue ensuring reliable, secure and affordable supply of energy to European consumers. In the mid term, this means getting rid of our dependency on Russian gas, by diversification of supply, by massively investing in renewables. Renewables are home-grown, they create jobs, here in Europe. They are a strategic investment in our security and in our independence. This is why the European Commission outlined REPowerEU this week. REPowerEU is a plan to diversify suppliers and switch to renewables.

By mid-May, we will come up with a proposal to phase out our dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal by 2027, backed by the necessary national and European resources. But we also addressed energy price spikes. By mid-May, the Commission will present options to optimise the electricity market design, so that it better supports the green transition. But consumers and businesses need relief now. And therefore, this week, the Commission came forward with guidance on price regulation in these exceptional circumstances, and the possibility of a new Temporary Crisis Framework for state aid to support struggling businesses.

This is complemented by the option given to Member States to tax windfall profits from energy groups. And finally, by the end of this month, the Commission will present options to limit the contagion effect of the rise of gas prices to electricity prices. Finally, we need to be ready for the next winter. So we will set up a Task Force that will design a refilling plan for the next winter and coordinate the operation. Beyond this first step, the European Union needs to define a longer-term EU gas storage policy.

And therefore, the Commission will table a proposal to fill up underground gas storages to at least 90% of their capacity by 1 October each year. So you see, it is a whole big package. And this will be our insurance policy against supply disruption. Similarly, the Leaders also discussed food prices and global food security. And here too, the Commission will come forward with options to address these important issues”, - said Ursula von der Leyen.