The European Commission is due to approve an emergency energy sharing plan on May 18 to grapple with a possible abrupt interruption of Russian gas supplies to the bloc, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.
According to the news outlet, Brussels warns that in case of emergency, the plan will affect almost all EU partners of Madrid because those that have alternative sources of energy supplies, such as Spain, will have to share their gas with the countries that will be hit by Russia’s possible decision to cut gas deliveries.
The blueprint will reportedly stipulate that energy rationing should be applied in such a way that companies in unaffected EU countries could not have a competitive advantage over the firms based in the bloc’s member states that may face cuts in energy supplies.
El Pais pointed out that Brussels plans to use a 2017 regulation on the security of energy supplies in order to introduce measures that will guarantee the delivery of enough gas to households and essential social services in all EU countries.
The EU’s blueprint envisages that each affected country can declare a national emergency and impose its own rationing rules. In addition, such nations are allowed to invoke the regulation’s solidarity-related clause, which would prompt unaffected countries to help provide them with gas supplies.
El Pais reported the EU has already “embarked on a frantic race” to find alternative energy supplies. At the same time, Brussels admits that in the immediate future, “it will be practically impossible” to replace Russian gas deliveries, the daily argues.