Policy brief

How to make the EU Energy Platform an effective emergency tool

The platform could become an effective emergency tool to safeguard Europe’s gas supply, but policymakers need to address challenges to make it work.

Publishing date
16 June 2022
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Uncertainty about the supply of Russian natural gas is causing extremely high and volatile European gas and electricity prices. European Union countries may struggle to import sufficient volumes of natural gas at reasonable prices. During the summer, the imperatives are to fill storage sites sufficiently in a coordinated manner and to organise sufficient import volumes to replace a substantial share of gas that might no longer come from Russia. Coordination is essential to ensure that disruptions during difficult winter months do not lead to a break-up of the EU internal gas market with potentially serious political repercussions.

One part of the EU response is establishment of an EU Energy Platform for the purchase of gas, LNG and hydrogen. This aims to pool demand to leverage the bloc’s economic clout, international outreach to reliable partners and efficient use of existing infrastructure. EU leaders have backed the plan but it has not yet been translated into a feasible scheme.

The platform should be developed into an effective emergency tool to safeguard gas supply in case Russian flows stop. We detail two complementary proposals to achieve this. First, there should be EU-wide auctioning of remuneration for filling storage sites in specific regions. Companies would remain responsible for all stages of the value chain, benefitting from remuneration and in return offering the market operator some control over how this gas is released during winter months. Second, EU demand for additional LNG quantities, and the sourcing of this on international markets, should be coordinated through a platform, creating a transparent market for these volumes.

These mechanisms would resolve the prevention paradox and prevent free-riding. If EU countries buy gas jointly, they will find it much easier to let markets allocate scarce volumes across borders in case of a complete stop to Russian supplies. . This would reduce the risk of energy market fragmentation, as well as the subsequent energy security, economic and political impacts of a shock that would hit member states very differently.

About the authors

  • Walter Boltz

    • Born in Vienna in 1953
    • 1970/1971 Graduation from high school in both the USA and Austria
    • 1971 – 1976: Degree in technical physics at the Vienna University of Technology
    • During ten years head of the Austrian branch of an international consulting group dedicated especially to management and technology consulting
    • 1991 – 1996: Worked for a major Austrian commercial bank in Central and Eastern Europe with a focus on structured financing, privatization and the reorganisation of utilities.
    • 1996 – 1999: member of the executive board of a major German consultancy.
    • 1999 – 2001: Member of the executive board of PricewaterhouseCoopers Since
    • March 2001: Chairman of E-Control Ltd.
    • Since March 2011: Executive Director of Energie Control Austria (E-Control)
    • Different functions in international organisations:
      • CEER Security of Supply Working Group Chair (2001/2004)
      • CEER Single Energy Market Working Group Chair (2004/2005)
      • CEER/ERGEG Gas Working Group Chair (since 2006)
      • CEER/ERGEG Vice President (2006/May 2015)
      • AIB President (2004/2005)
      • Vice Chair of ACER’S Regulatory Board (since 2010)
      • Member of the EU-Russia Gas Advisory Council (since 2007)
  • Klaus-Dieter Borchardt

    Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Borchardt holds a law degree from the University of Hamburg (1974-1979) and a PhD from the Free University of Berlin (1985). Since 1987, Mr Borchardt is a Civil servant at the European Commission where he served in different Directorates General (“Employment, Social Affairs and Education”, Legal Service, Agriculture and Rural Development) and as first Deputy and then Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel (Agriculture and Rural Development). Mr Borchardt also worked as a Member of the Cabinet of the German Judge at the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg. Since April 1st 2013, he is Director responsible for the Internal Energy Market in the Commission Directorate-General for Energy. Mr Borchardt is Teaching Professor at the Faculty of Law at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg since 2001.

  • Thierry Deschuyteneer

    Since October 2013, Thierry Deschuyteneer is Executive Secretary of Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), the European association of gas transmission, gas storage and LNG regasification terminal operators. He is also Vice-Chair of GasNaturally, the initiative of the European gas industry to showcase the benefits of gas. He was previously Public Affairs Manager at Fluxys, the Belgian gas infrastructure operator, handling European energy policy and regulatory developments. Before that, he was Regulatory Manager at Fluxys: he contributed to the design of access conditions to the gas transmission and storage systems and managed tariff issues with the national regulator. Thierry Deschuyteneer studied engineering and began his career in the ICT industry before joining the gas sector 19 years ago.

  • Leigh Hancher

  • François Lévêque

  • Jean Pisani-Ferry

    Jean Pisani-Ferry holds the Tommaso Padoa Schioppa chair of the European University Institute. He is a Senior Fellow at Bruegel, the European think tank, and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute (Washington DC). He is also a professor of economics with Sciences Po (Paris).

    He sits on the supervisory board of the French Caisse des Dépôts and serves as non-executive chair of I4CE, the French institute for climate economics.

    Pisani-Ferry served from 2013 to 2016 as Commissioner-General of France Stratégie, the ideas lab of the French government. In 2017, he contributed to Emmanuel Macron’s presidential bid as the Director of programme and ideas of his campaign. He was from 2005 to 2013 the Founding Director of Bruegel, the Brussels-based economic think tank that he had contributed to create. Beforehand, he was Executive President of the French PM’s Council of Economic Analysis (2001-2002), Senior Economic Adviser to the French Minister of Finance (1997-2000), and Director of CEPII, the French institute for international economics (1992-1997).

    Pisani-Ferry has taught at University Paris-Dauphine, École Polytechnique, École Centrale and the Free University of Brussels. His publications include numerous books and articles on economic policy and European policy issues. He has also been an active contributor to public debates with regular columns in Le Monde and for Project Syndicate.

  • Ben McWilliams

    Ben is working for Bruegel as a Consultant in the field of Energy and Climate Policy. His work involves data-driven analysis to critique and inform European public policy, specifically in the area of the energy sector and its decarbonisation. Recent work has focussed on the implications of the ongoing energy crisis and policy options for responding. Other topics of interest include tools for stimulating industrial decarbonisation and the implications for new economic geography from the advent of new energy systems, particularly from hydrogen. 

    He studied his MSc in Economic Policy at Utrecht University, completing a thesis investigating the economic effects of carbon taxation in British Colombia. Previously, he studied his BSc Economics at the University of Warwick, with one year spent studying at the University of Monash, Melbourne.

    Ben is a dual English and Dutch citizen.

  • Axel Ockenfels

  • Simone Tagliapietra

    Simone Tagliapietra is a Senior fellow at Bruegel. He is also Adjunct professor of Energy, Climate and Environmental Policy at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and at The Johns Hopkins University - School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Europe.

    His research focuses on the European Union climate and energy policy and on the political economy of global decarbonisation. With a record of numerous policy and scientific publications, he is the author of Global Energy Fundamentals (Cambridge University Press, 2020), L’Energia del Mondo (Il Mulino, 2020) and Energy Relations in the Euro-Mediterranean (Palgrave, 2017).

    His columns and policy work are published and cited in leading international media such as the Financial Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Die Zeit, Corriere della Sera, Il Sole 24 Ore and others.

    Simone holds a PhD in Institutions and Policies from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. Born in the Dolomites in 1988, he speaks Italian, English and French.

  • Georg Zachmann

    Georg Zachmann is a Senior Fellow at Bruegel, where he has worked since 2009 on energy and climate policy. His work focuses on regional and distributional impacts of decarbonisation, the analysis and design of carbon, gas and electricity markets, and EU energy and climate policies. Previously, he worked at the German Ministry of Finance, the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, the energy think tank LARSEN in Paris, and the policy consultancy Berlin Economics.

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