REPowerEu: the European plan to reduce the Union’s dependence on Russian gas imports

March 11, 2022

The Russian aggression against Ukraine has reflected on the international arena on many different levels, triggering a severe crisis both at a humanitarian and energy level. In just two weeks, the conflict has rapidly escalated, and so far, the high-level talks of the international leaders and relevant ministers have not yet produced any ceasefire agreement.

Beyond a series of sanctions, the European Union has already put in place a series of measures to counter the consequences of the crisis. To help people fleeing the territories under attack, the Union is providing humanitarian aid and civil protection assistance to Ukraine and neighbouring Moldovia, Poland and Slovakia. As well, on March 8, concerning the energy implications of the Russian aggression, the Commission presented a Communication aimed at reducing EU’s use of gas supplied by Russia by the end of the year and at ending it by 2030.

Following the Russian attack, notions such as European strategic autonomy/dependency and European sovereignty were once again in the spotlight. The Union has been forced to face its vulnerabilities where gas supplies are concerned. To counter such scenarios, fulfil its potential and be less vulnerable to external “actions”, it should become more independent and resilient. This is particularly true in the fields of security, and within the industrial, digital and economic domain.

For energy, and specifically gas consumption, the EU relies for 40% of its needs on Russia. Shared efforts towards a more sovereign Europe in the sector would entail numerous geopolitical and economic advantages. Not to mention that the steps towards this goal could contribute to achieving the bloc’s climate objectives set in the Fit for 55.