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MEP Vasile Blaga: The Romanian Government is working seriously for Romania’s energy security

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MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) welcomed the European Commission’s decision to urgently draw up a proposal for a regulation requiring Member States to fill at least 80% of all available gas deposits in the EU by 1 November 2022 and noted that the Romanian Government “shows a special concern and is working seriously for Romania’s energy security.”

“The EU no longer wants to enter the next winter with almost empty gas deposits, as happened last winter. 80% of full storage is about 30% of EU gas consumption in a normal winter. It may not sound very encouraging to some, but it would be a real improvement on this winter’s situation when we entered the cold season with the emptiest storage in five years,” said MEP Vasile Blaga, a member of the ITRE committee where the European Commission presented the proposal for a regulation on gas storage.

The liberal MEP added that the introduction of this obligation also comes against the backdrop of the historical price of gas during this period: “Nobody stores when the price is the highest. There is a temptation for operators to postpone storage until the price falls”.

Recall that for future years, the percentage increases to 90 percent. To ensure that Member States respect the 2022 limit, the Commission will carry out checks on existing European gas storage in August, September and October. The regulation even talks of penalties to be imposed on countries that fail to meet the 80 per cent gas storage obligation by 1 November.

According to the MEP, the regulation also introduces a new procedure for certifying gas stocks at European level: “First of all, not all EU Member States have gas stocks on their territory. Those that don’t have to conclude agreements with countries that do. Romania, fortunately, has such deposits. Secondly, about 10% of the deposits on Romanian territory are owned by Gazprom, the Russian company from whose dependence the EU is trying to escape by all means and which has played an important role in the recent price increases. For this reason, the Commission, in a regulation that will enter the urgency procedure in Parliament, requires the certification of the deposits at European level. If the owners are states or third companies that may pose a risk to the Member State in terms of energy security, then these companies will presumably be obliged to hand over the deposits in return for compensation. What is certain is that more is being done these days at EU level on energy security than has been done in a decade, I would say,” says MEP Vasile Blaga.

The liberal MEP says that Romania has a lighter situation than other Member States in terms of gas stocks: “We should not be very panicky, but neither should we rest on our laurels. However, I note that the Romanian Government is showing a special concern and is working seriously for Romania’s energy security”, added Vasile Blaga.

Diana Zaim este foto jurnalist, câștigătoare a Premiul Publicului la European Youth Event 2020, cel mai mare eveniment pentru tineri organizat de Parlamentul European. Absolventă a secției germană-portugheză în cadrul Universității din București, Diana urmează în prezent programul de master ”Relații Internaționale și Integrare Europeană” în cadrul SNSPA. Pasionată de promovarea valorilor europene, Diana este parte a comunității Model European Union, cea mai amplă simulare la nivel european a procesului decizional din cadrul Uniunii Europene.

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MEP Vasile Blaga supports a fair green transition for Romania: Gas and nuclear energy must be considered transitory

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© Vasile Blaga / Facebook

MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) reaffirms his support for a fair green transition for Romania, in which gas and nuclear energy are accepted in order to achieve the objectives set by the European Ecological Pact.

The European Parliament hosted yesterday, 30 May, a public hearing whose guests were several experts who debated, together with members of the two committees ECON and ENVI, the inclusion of gas and nuclear energy in the taxonomy of the European Union. Many of the opinions expressed push the debate towards a rejection of the European Commission’s proposal of March whereby nuclear energy and gas are considered, under certain conditions, green.

I reaffirm my support for the version proposed by the European Commission. There are many reasons why gas and nuclear energy should be considered transitional in order to achieve the objectives set by the European Green Pact. One of the reasons, and perhaps the most important one, relates to the realities on the ground in each Member State. France has a significant share of nuclear power, just as Germany is heavily dependent on gas. The decisions that the European Union needs to implement in order to achieve the objectives – already set and agreed by all Member States – need to be balanced first and foremost”, EPP MEP Vasile Blaga told European Way.

“Countries like Romania or Poland need a realistic transition towards the targets set by the Green Pact. Cohesion and solidarity in the European Union means that each Member State must take into account the other and, as a whole, decisions must not ignore any reality, be it further West or further East”, added the EPP MEP.

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MEP Vasile Blaga: “New sanctions package against Russia is a strong sign of EU solidarity with Ukraine”

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MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) welcomes the agreement reached by EU leaders on the latest sanctions package against Russia.

“The progressive embargo agreed yesterday evening by the European Council is a consistent step towards blocking the financing of the war unleashed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. The sanctions will initially target 75% of imports of crude oil and petroleum products, rising to 90% by the end of the year”, the MEP told caleaeuropeana.ro.

According to the liberal MEP, the Council’s decision puts an end to a fundamentally unacceptable situation – condemning Russian aggression in Ukraine while financing it through hydrocarbon imports into the EU: “This is a necessary step in the attempt to force the Russian Federation to stop the absurd war in Ukraine. Of course, there will be voices saying that the 10% represents hesitation, failure or lack of solidarity. I place them squarely in line with those propagating pro-Russian rhetoric. The European Union also has a degree of heterogeneity, especially in terms of the degree to which economies are dependent on Russian hydrocarbons. In this context, blocking 90% of imports at the end of the year is undoubtedly a victory that I welcome”, said EPP MEP Vasile Blaga.

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MEP Vasile Blaga: The most effective weapon against Russia’s blackmail to turn off the gas tap is EU solidarity

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© Vasile Blaga/Facebook

The cut-off of gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria should be the start of the EU finding solutions to disconnect Europe from the Russian Federation, said MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP).

The MEP stressed that the most effective weapon against Russia’s blackmail to turn off the “gas tap” is EU solidarity.

“A generalised and overnight disconnection of Europe from Russian resources is not realistic, but in the medium and long term it is the only solution. The dependence of large EU economies – such as Germany’s – is a major obstacle to this necessary disconnection, but a united reaction, comparable to that during the pandemic, can provide the solutions to get out of this situation, which is immoral to say the least”, said the liberal MEP for the CaleaEuropeana.ro.

According to the MEP, it is necessary, as a first step, even if only in principle, for all EU Member States to speak “with one voice” on eliminating energy dependence on Russia.

“It is obvious that the European democratic architecture is incompatible with the immoral paradox of financing Russia’s war machine in the context of military aggression against the sovereign state of Ukraine. Then, without delay, we need to take concrete steps that will bring us within a reasonable timeframe closer to this priority objective”, added the EPP MEP.

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