The European Parliament is finalising a new regulation to safeguard the security of gas supply to the EU. Member States facing severe gas shortages will be able to count on help from neighbouring countries under new solidarity rules.
This is one of the most strategic gas pipelines in the world, called Nord Stream. At more than 1,200 km in length, it connects Russia to Germany and provides gas to 26 million households in Europe. EU countries import 65% of their gas consumption, mainly from Russia, followed by Norway and Algeria. It's a very strong dependency that forces the European Union to secure its gas supplies and avoid any disruptions. We had such a crisis in 2009 and previously in 2006. Some Member States were without gas for two or three weeks. And it was a really dangerous situation for our citizens. We would like to avoid such a situation. A proposal is on the table where, in case of a severe crisis, EU states will have to help their neighbours. It's a solidarity mechanism to protect the most affected consumers. Solidarity means that, in difficult times, we can send gas from one country to another to ensure full gas supply to households, to important social service providers like hospitals and to some gas power stations to avoid blackouts. Gas companies will also be required to be more transparent. The new law will ensure better cooperation between countries and a more accurate assessment of common risks.