Emergency plan to reduce gas consumption overcame the last formal hurdle before entry into force. This was announced on Friday, August 5, by the representation of the Czech Republic – the current chairman of the Council of the European Union.

The plan envisages that all EU countries will voluntarily reduce gas consumption by 15% from the beginning of August until March next year, compared to the average consumption over the past five years during this period. Its purpose is to reduce the risks that may arise from the complete cessation of gas supplies from Russia.

If sufficient savings cannot be achieved against the backdrop of widespread supply shortfalls, the next step could be the possibility of issuing an alarm within the EU and setting mandatory targets for save gas consumption, and in comparison with the first draft of the European Commission, the barriers for these indicators have been increased, and the number of possible exceptions to the plan has been increased. This step requires the consent of at least 15 EU countries, which account for at least 65 percent of the entire EU population.

The emergency plan will be in effect for a year.

At the same time, a number of EU countries that are not synchronized with the European energy system will be exempt from mandatory gas cuts, since they will not be able to release significant amounts of fuel for even distribution in the interests of other EU states.

Initially, the emergency plan will be valid for one year. Prior to that, it was approved by a majority vote at a special meeting of EU energy ministers in Brussels on July 26. The plan will enter into force upon publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

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