Lack of cooperation might make the biggest economy in the EU’s energy crisis worse.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck has warned in a memo to parliamentarians seen by Bloomberg that Germany’s neighbors Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Poland have failed to engage in “productive conversations” about gas solidarity agreements.
A key building block of the EU’s gas crisis resilience in the form of bilateral agreements apparently wouldn’t be available, according to the paper, which was reportedly delivered to the Bundestag’s energy and environment committee late on Wednesday. This might worsen Germany’s gas shortage.
The agreements among the members to share gas are a component of a bigger EU system for handling energy emergencies. If one country runs out of gas, they promise to supply the other.
Habeck asserts that the fundamental justification for the countries’ refusal of bilateral agreements with Berlin is that they do not want to be responsible for compensating their suppliers if gas is diverted to Germany.
Additionally, the economy minister emphasized that Germany is in contact with the Czech Republic and Italy. Since gas would need to travel through Switzerland before reaching Germany, the arrangement with Italy would be a trilateral one. Habeck underlined that until the elections later this month, talks with Rome are on pause. The Czech Republic is open to signing such a contract, but only provided the government remuneration for suppliers is limited.
Given these issues, “no progress is currently anticipated in the bilateral solidarity pact negotiations,”
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