Central eastern Europe energy hub to coordinate EU gas supplies – EURACTIV.com

The new Prague-based Central Eastern regional task force, established within the voluntary EU Energy Platform set up to secure energy supply and phase out dependency on Russia, will identify bottlenecks in gas supply in the region and propose urgent solutions.

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The task force brings together nine EU countries – Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia –  with Ukraine and Moldova. It will be co-chaired by the Czech Republic, which also takes over the Council of the EU Presidency in July 2022.

“Since the beginning of the Russian aggression, we have been advocating joint gas purchases and the fair redistribution of gas among EU countries as one of the ways to get rid of dependence on Russia,” Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Síkela said on Tuesday (28 June) during the inaugural meeting of the task force.

“This will allow us to gain a better negotiating position in obtaining energy resources from third countries,” he added.

The task force’s main objective in the coming weeks is to jointly prepare an action plan to identify gas supply bottlenecks and propose solutions. The action plan will then be forwarded to a specially created working group of the European Commission, which will ensure its implementation.

The EU Energy Platform should play a key role in pooling gas demand, coordinating energy infrastructure use, negotiating with the international partners and preparing for joint gas and hydrogen purchases. It will consist of several regional hubs.

The South-East Europe regional task force was established in May 2022, followed by the Central Eastern Europe branch. Other task forces will follow, including North-West, South West and the Baltics.