MEPs have approved a provisional deal to implement EU-wide regional crisis management measures in order to minimise the risk of power cuts as winter approaches.
The new legislation aims to improve early identification of potential crises and ensure electricity providers across the EU are well prepared to deal with risk. As it stands, regional crisis management is uncoordinated between Member States, with no common approach to the identification and assessment of risk.
Under the approved regulations, Member States will be compelled to devise national risk management plans based on a common regional crisis management template. In addition to providing measures within the plans which will prevent simultaneous energy shortages in a region, Member States must inform the European Commission and neighbouring regions when they experience an electricity crisis.
Member States which receive assistance from neighbouring countries in times of crisis will be obliges under the terms of the regional crisis management deal to bear the costs associated with that assistance, within reason; the rates of fair compensation must be agreed between the Member States before assistance is provided. The Commission will provide guidance on how to determine fair compensation and other key technical, legal and financial aspects of the assistance arrangements.
Rapporteur Flavio Zanonato said: “This agreement ensures that if an electricity crisis affects a member state it will be promptly resolved in cooperation with its neighbours and the Regional Coordination Centres. It establishes the solidarity principle as the real backbone of risk management, so that in the future no one will be left alone in coping with the cold spell and with sudden interruptions to electricity.”
The regional crisis management deal, which is part of the “Clean Energy for all Europeans” legislative package first proposed in 2016, will now be passed to the European Parliament, Council and Industry, Research and Energy Committee for approval. Once the regulations come into force, they must be adopted by Member States within 2.5 years.