The security of supply of gas has been the hottest topic of the last 12 months since Russia invaded Ukraine. James Kneebone at theFlorence School of Regulation (FSR) has written an explainer that lays out the EU’s history of dealing with energy security, going back to the 1990s. Because the EU has a single market for natural gas and widely shared value chains (pipelines, LNG terminals, storage, etc.), impacts are felt across the bloc. But that interconnectedness is also a strength and the basis for ensuring security across the region. Kneebone also details the updated regulations that are behind the drive to build in new capacity and obligations for solidarity between Member States. It means that today, the coordination and cooperation for allocating resources and delivering better energy security are stronger than ever.
What is security of supply?
The European Environment Agency (EEA) define security of energy supply as “…the availability of energy at all times in various forms, in sufficient quantities, and at reasonable and/or affordable prices.” In the context of gas security of supply specifically, the concept refers to the provision of gaseous energy, namely ‘natural gas’.
Beneath the windmill-dotted marshlands of the Netherlands lies Europe’s largest natural gas reserve. The sprawling Groningen field has enough untapped capacity to replace, as soon as this winter, much of the fuel Germany once imported from Russia.
Instead the field is in the process of shutting down, and the Netherlands is rebuffing calls to pump more, even as Europe braces for perhaps its toughest winter since World War II. The reason: Drilling has led to repeated earthquakes, and Dutch officials are loath to risk a backlash from residents by breaking promises.
When Finland’s Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, and Sweden’s leader, Magdalena Andersson, met for a key press conference in April, it became a defining moment for both countries.
For decades, Finland and Sweden had clung to their non-militarily-aligned status, pursuing close ties with Europe, while maintaining a cordial relationship with their eastern neighbour, Russia. But the war in Ukraine changed everything.
While Ms Marin refused to give any kind of timetable on the decision at the time, she hinted at the press conference that Finland’s bid would happen “quite fast”.
For the hardline conservatives ruling Poland and Hungary, the transition from communism to liberal democracy was a mirage. They fervently believe a more decisive break with the past is needed to achieve national liberation. By Nicholas Mulder
Europe is not just trailing behind in terms of numbers, but also with respect to quality. Most advanced microchips, which are used in smartphones, computers and other high-tech devices, are currently produced almost exclusively in Asia. [SCHUTTERSTOCK/genkur]
euractive_Monsanto has paid for its refusal to appear before the European Parliament by losing its right to enter it, as MEPS have shut the door on their lobbyists until further notice. EURACTIV France reports.
The Conference of the Presidents – composed of the leaders of the European Parlaiment’s groups – decided on Thursday (28 September) to withdraw the right of the American company’s lobbysts to access the Parliament’s buildings.
“We have just officially refused access to the European Parliament to Monsanto lobbyists. This decision has been taken by the Conferenfe of the Presidents on 28 September,” explained Marc Tarabella, head of the Belgian Socialist Party delegation, in a press release.