Croatia Must Upgrade Gas Pipeline to Strengthen Energy Security

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Energy and the issue of secure and reliable energy supply in the context of the Ukraine war and sanctions against Russia is currently the main topic probably in all EU member countries.

After the global financial crisis and the health crisis caused by coronavirus, the energy security crisis is a new test for the EU’s internal strength and resilience, with crucial decisions in dealing with that crisis being expected from the European Commission.

In the interview with Jutarnji List, von der Leyen spoke about what the EC was doing and planned to do to alleviate the impact of the crisis on citizens’ living standards and competitiveness of the business sector as well as Croatia’s role.

Asked what should be done to prevent the crisis from causing irreparable damage to the EU economy and way of life, von der Leyen said that short-term as well as medium and long-term measures were being implemented.

As for short-term measures, which concern preparations for the coming winter, EU member-states on 26 July reached agreement to coordinate action to reduce gas demand at the EU level in a bid to remove Russia’s threat of a complete cessation of gas supply.

EU countries’ assuming a common obligation to cut gas demand by 15% is an exceptionally important part of the agreement as it will help the EU replenish stockpiles before the winter and help stabilise the market, von der Leyen said.

She noted that the agreement would also help create a safety net for each member state, thus enabling the full implementation of the principle of energy solidarity that is part of EU treaties.

We are determined to resolve the issue of energy security at the EU level, she said.

EU countries understand that their economies are so much interconnected that any disruption of supply in one country would have detrimental effects on the whole EU economy, which is why it is important for all EU countries to reduce demand, increase stockpiles and be ready to share gas with other members, von der Leyen said.

As part of the European Green Deal we have taken care that everyone benefits from transition to renewable sources of energy, which includes support from the proposed Social Climate Fund, designed for vulnerable consumers, von der Leyen said in the interview.


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