Joint gas purchasing: The Steering Board of the EU Energy Platform meets for the first time

Today, Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič chaired the first formal meeting of the Steering Board of the EU Energy Platform. Composed of high-level representatives from EU Member States, the Steering Board will facilitate the coordination of demand aggregation and joint purchasing of gas, as agreed under the new EU Regulation on enhancing solidarity through better coordination of gas purchases, exchanges of gas across borders and reliable price benchmarks. At today’s meeting, participants took stock of the work so far, and discussed the process of creating a consortium or consortia open to gas companies and gas consumers, with a view to jointly negotiating with international gas suppliers and securing better prices for European consumers.

Vice-President Šefčovič said: “We are working on a tight schedule to prepare in time for the next winter and the storage refilling season. I have therefore encouraged Member States to swiftly engage with key market players at national level – first, to identify those to participate in the Platform, and second, to estimate volumes as well as destination of gas to be purchased through the Platform. At the same time, I have called on industry to express their interest in joining a European consortium. The objective is to publish the aggregate demand to attract supply offers in early spring, followed by the first joint purchasing well before summer.”

The meeting of the Steering Board today follows the December high-level industrial roundtable, opened by President von der Leyen and chaired by Vice-President Šefčovič. On 25 January, the Vice-President will invite representatives of major gas consumers, such as the ceramic, chemical and fertilising industry, to discuss their potential participation in the Platform. The Steering Board will meet again in February.