On 25th May, the Commission had set up a new Task Force within its Directorate-General for Energy, to provide support to the EU Energy Platform and implement the REPowerEU goal of supply diversification.
Following a mandate from the European Council in March 2022, the Commission and Member States have established the EU Energy Platform to coordinate measures to secure energy supplies for the EU, including through the voluntary common purchase of pipeline gas, LNG and hydrogen. The new Task Force will help deliver on the REPowerEU objective of reducing our dependence on Russian fossil fuels, by enabling Member States and neighbouring countries to have access to alternative energy supplies at affordable prices in the coming years.
Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said: “In our REPowerEU Plan we outlined how Europe can get rid of Russian fossil fuels. Now we are giving ourselves the tools to make it happen. It is time to diversify our energy supplies and make best use of our infrastructure. The Energy Platform Task Force will contribute to Europe’s energy security and independence. Through the collective political and economic weight of the EU’s 27 Member States and 440 million citizens, we will work to ensure affordable and secure energy imports.”
The Energy Platform Task Force will start work next week, on 1 June, and immediately tackle the new tasks outlined in the REPowerEU Plan adopted on 18 May. It will work towards demand aggregation, coordination of capacity and negotiation of energy supplies, while also providing support for the Regional Task Forces of Member States and neighbouring countries. Furthermore, it will manage outreach to international partners.
The new Task Force will consist of three units, headed by a Director and reporting to a newly appointed Deputy Director-General, Matthew Baldwin, and to the Director-General for Energy Ditte Juul Jørgensen, under the political supervision of Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson. The units of the Task Force will deal with: global demand and international negotiations; relations with the Member States and the neighbourhood; and international relations.
In the REPowerEU Plan, the Commission announced that as a next step, and replicating the ambition of the common vaccine purchasing programme, it will consider the development of a ‘joint purchasing mechanism’ which will negotiate and contract gas purchases on behalf of participating Member States.
More information: European Commission – Press release