The EU has proposed measures to ensure the security of its energy supply in the light of recent world events.
Europe depends on imports for over 50% of its energy, making it vulnerable to political events beyond EU borders.
Gas supplies are particularly vulnerable: while most of the EU's oil imports arrive by sea, gas is supplied through pipelines. This means there is little scope for changing supply sources and routes if the need arises.
Action to improve Europe's energy security was taken after the gas supply was temporarily disrupted in the winters of 2006 and 2009.
However, tensions over Ukraine – through which gas pipelines run from Russia - have highlighted that it needs to be strengthened further.
To ensure uninterrupted supplies this winter, the EU has proposed conducting “stress tests” - simulating a disruption of the gas supply to see how the energy system can cope. This will help in developing emergency plans and back-up mechanisms – such as increasing gas stocks – in case disruption occurs.
To improve security in the longer term, the EU proposes
The proposals - put forward by the European Commission - will be discussed by the leaders of the EU countries on 26-27 June.