The EU Energy Platform is a voluntary coordination mechanism that plays a key role in pooling demand, coordinating infrastructure use, negotiating with international partners and preparing for joint gas and hydrogen purchases. It ensures cooperation in areas where it is more effective to act in a coordinated way at EU level rather than at national level. Through the platform, EU countries can team up to secure affordable energy supplies from reliable partners.
The platform was first proposed in the REPowerEU Communication from 8 March 2022. The EU's Heads of State or Government endorsed the idea shortly after, at the European Council on 25 March. The EU's Heads of State or Government endorsed the idea shortly after, at the European Council on 25 March. The EU Energy Platform was established on 7 April 2022, at a first meeting with EU countries, to secure the EU's energy supply at affordable prices in the current geopolitical context and to phase out dependency on Russian gas.
The platform builds on existing EU policy initiatives and cooperates with EU countries, transmission system operators, associations and market players. It makes use of existing coordination structures for security of supply (Gas Coordination Group, including network of gas operators ENTSO-G) and the regional assessment of energy infrastructure (e.g. high-level groups).
Joint purchasing mechanism
As a next step in its REPowerEU plan and building upon the emergency regulation proposed on 18 October 2022 to address high gas prices in the EU and ensure security of supply, the Commission proposes a demand aggregation tool that will support EU countries in reaching their 2023 storage targets. EU countries would be obliged to aggregate demand for volumes of gas equivalent to 15% of their respective storage filling obligations. Beyond the 15%, aggregation will be voluntary but based on the same mechanism.
An IT tool will be set up to match the aggregated gas demand with the most competitive supply offers. Following the matching of demand with supply, companies can voluntarily conclude purchasing contracts with the gas suppliers, either individually or jointly.
EU countries and industrial players from the EU and the Energy Community gather forces in a Steering Board, regional groups and an Industry Advisory Group to set up a joint purchasing mechanism.
The Steering Board consists of representatives of both the Commission and all EU countries and participation of the representatives of Energy Community Contracting Parties to oversee the process to ensure security of supply, transparency and solidarity.
The platform works through regional groups. The South-East Europe regional group was launched on 5 May 2022 at a ministerial meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, in coordination with neighbours in South-East Europe.
On 1 June, the Commission endorsed an action plan to guide the next steps of diversification and security of supply in the South-East Europe region after the disruption of gas supplies by Russia. It foresees joint efforts of the region and the European Commission on 3 pillars
- gas demand needs of the region, including demand reduction potential via electricity
- infrastructure opportunities and addressing outstanding issues
- gas supply options
The regional group cooperates with Contracting Parties of the Energy Community and the Secretariat of the Energy Community in an effort to increase energy security in the region.
The Central-Eastern regional group was initiated in June 2022 at a ministerial meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, in coordination with the concerned EU countries and neighbouring Energy Community Contracting Parties, including Ukraine and Moldova. The meeting mapped key issues in the region's cooperation, particularly in the fields of gas demand, demand reduction potential, the efficient use of infrastructure and the gas supply options to diversify away from Russian gas.
The North-Western Europe, South-Western Europe and Baltics and Finland regional groups were initiated in July 2022. The Action Plans for these groups are in preparation.
Following the finalisation of the Action Plans of all regional groups, discussions on the potential of joint purchasing in each region will be the other main focus.
Industry Advisory Group
The Industry Advisory Group is an informal expert group that will provide the Commission with the necessary industrial perspective to meet the objectives of the EU Energy Platform and address current energy challenges. The group aims at providing
- feedback and comments on options issued by the Commission for natural gas, LNG (and, in the future, hydrogen) demand aggregation and joint purchasing
- insights and advice on how to ensure that the EU’s goal to reduce its dependency on gas supplies from Russia can be achieved in line with the timeline provided by the REPowerEU Communication from 8 March, with a particular focus on the diversification of gas supply
- information to support outreach activities
The members of the group were confirmed shortly after the end of a call for applications published on 6 September 2022. Their first meeting took place on 26 October 2022.
- Commission establishes Industry Advisory Group to support the EU Energy Platform (19/10/2022)
- Commission expert group portal – Industry Advisory Group (19/10/2022)
- Energy Emergency - preparing, purchasing and protecting the EU together
- REPowerEU Plan (COM(2022)230)
- REPowerEU: Joint European Action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy (COM(2022)108)
- Energy Community
- Action Plan for the Regional Energy Platform for South-East Europe (2/06/2022)
- Launching the EU Energy Platform Task-Force (25/05/2022)
- Bulgaria sets up the first regional task-force as part of the EU energy platform (28/04/2022)