Industry, Research and Energy Committee Chair Cristian Buşoi (EPP, RO) welcomed the new package of measures tabled by the European Commission on Tuesday.
« The ITRE Committee backs the initiative to make Europe independent from Russian gas. We need to get rid of suppliers that finance Putin’s war in Ukraine, and we need to do it quickly. Parliament is ready to work as fast as possible on the concrete proposals to come. These measures not only make sense in the context of the Russian aggression of Ukraine, but also in the long term, for our energy transition and growth » said Cristian Buşoi on Tuesday.
« The measures proposed aim to help ensure that households and businesses are protected from supply and price shocks before the next heating season. Member States should now quickly follow up and adopt the necessary measures » he added.
« Diversification is also key to energy security, in terms of suppliers and energy sources. We agree that indigenous generation of low-carbon sources should be increased further, as well as boosting efforts in energy efficiency in all areas of our economy. Parliament is ready to proceed quickly with the proposal allowing for joint procurements of gas and to boost strategic stocks. But we need the Commission to use the appropriate instrument to help us do so. The Amendment to the security of gas supply regulation needs to be a standalone proposal » he added.
« Finally, ITRE is also committed to delivering its share of the « Fit for 55″ package, on renewables, on energy efficiency, on the energy performance of buildings and on the internal gas market package. These will define the future basics of our economy in the next 30 years. The quicker we can move, the better in the long term » M. Buşoi added.
Plenary debate on possible anti-competitive behaviour in the gas market
On Tuesday around 19.15, the European Parliament will also ask the Commission about the findings of its investigation on possible anti-competitive behaviour in the gas market, as laid down in a parliamentary question. In the text, MEPs also ask which concrete market structural changes at EU level could allow member states to protect consumers against the volatility of the international gas market in the future. The debate can be followed here.
MEPs highlight that the surge in gas prices was driven by the global supply and demand dynamics, exacerbated by factors linked to the pandemic and geopolitical tensions, combined with fewer than expected imports in Europe, especially from Russia. This has led to gas storage reaching lower than average levels, and higher energy prices, also resulting in increasing inflation rates across the European Union.
The European Parliament will give its input on the Communication. It will also debate and vote on the legislative proposals to be tabled by April by the European Commission.
The plan proposed by the European Commission on Tuesday outlines a series of measures to respond to rising energy prices in Europe and to replenish gas stocks for next winter. Europe has been facing increased energy prices for several months, but now uncertainty on supply is exacerbating the problem. REPowerEU will seek to diversify gas supplies, speed up the roll-out of renewable gases and replace gas in heating and power generation. This can reduce EU demand for Russian gas by two thirds before the end of the year.
According to the European Commission quarterly gas market report, the share of Russian pipeline gas in EU gas imports was 41 % in the third quarter of 2021. Oil and gas are particularly important for Russia, funding just over a third of its federal budget in 2021 (RUB9.1 billion out of RUB25.3 billion total revenue).