Oliver Geden

Effective Provisions for Emergency Prevention and Response in the Gas Sector

Pioneering Proposals of the Commission for a New Risk Management Architecture

SWP Comment 2009/C 21, August 2009, 4 Pages



In July 2009 the EU Commission presented a Regulation proposal on crisis management in the natural gas sector which has the potential to initiate a paradigm shift in European energy security-of-supply policy. After years of futile attempts to create a common external energy policy, a phase could now ensue in which the EU increasingly becomes aware of its internal options for action. The risk-management architecture developed by the Commission will contribute to make the debate on energy security more objective. If all member states are to achieve a standard level of provisions, as the draft intends, they will be obliged to develop a pragmatic security-of-supply policy. Attention will no longer be fixed on just a few symbolic major projects, as it was in the past; the focus will be more on sober cost-benefit considerations for a large number of rather unspectacular options for action.