The EU Member States might be legally bound to share gas with the neighbouring countries in case of force majeure. This proposal, and the intention to further make it a binding requirement for all country members of the Energy Community, was presented by Oliver Koch, DG Energy, during the 4th Vienna Forum on European Energy Law.
“It’s about time to turn solidarity from a motto into particular legal obligations”, he said.
Now, according to Denys Nazarenko, DiXi Group’s analyst who attended the Forum, the proposals presented will be examined by the European Commission for two weeks. If approved, they will be submitted to the European Parliament for vote.
“DG Energy’s proposal was quite predictable, especially taking into account the results of stress tests which showed a considerable advantage, in the context of the crisis, of a coordinated EU position over capacities of each particular country trying to make sure that only its own consumers have sufficient gas supplies. Instead, the intention to engage Ukraine, among other countries, in this initiative was a pleasant surprise, since within the framework of such cooperation any assistance that Ukraine might badly need from its European neighbours, for example, such that was provided to it in 2014, will no longer be a gesture of good will, but a legal obligation. At the same time, we should be realistic about the readiness of the European consumers to sacrifice their own comfort for the sake of guaranteeing energy security of Ukraine and other member of the Energy Community, and this means that this initiative is likely to have a long and winding road ahead”, said the analyst.
Let us remind you that the EU and Ukraine signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in the field of Energy back on 1 December 2005.