Imports and secure supplies

Imports and secure supplies

Diverse, affordable, and reliable energy

EU legislation to prepare for and manage electricity crisis situations

Information on EU imports from Russia, Norway, OPEC, and the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

The EU aims to diversity its energy supply routes to increase security of supply.

EU countries are required to maintain emergency stocks of oil which can be used in case of a disruption to supply.

EU legislation helps to prevent and respond to potential gas supply disruptions


The EU imports 54% of all the energy it consumes, at a cost of more than €1 billion per day. Energy also makes up more than 20% of total EU imports. Specifically, the EU imports:

  • 90% of its crude oil
  • 69% of its natural gas
  • 42% of its coal and other solid fuels
  • 40% of its uranium and other nuclear fuels.

Security of energy supply is an integral part of the Energy Union strategy. Energy supplies are exposed to risks that include disruption from countries from which the EU import fuel but also extreme weather events, industrial hazards and terrorism and hybrid threats. By working together to prevent and to manage potential crises, the EU and its member countries can make the European energy system more resilient. Solidarity and regional cooperation, as well as speaking with one voice internationally when dealing with supplier countries, are key to this.

Energy Security Strategy

In response to concerns surrounding the delivery of Russian gas via Ukraine, the EU launched its EU energy security strategy in 2014. It lays out measures such as increasing energy efficiency, as well as energy production within the EU and the completion of missing infrastructure links to redirect energy to where it is needed during a crisis.

As part of the Strategy, the EU conducted so-called stress tests to analyse the ability of Europe's energy system to cope with a severe gas disruption during the winter of 2014-2015.

Secure supplies of gas

To help protect against gas disruptions, the EU substantially reinforced its security of supply laws with the adoption of the Security of Gas Supply Regulation in 2017. EU countries must ensure that gas is supplied to households and other vulnerable customers such as hospitals, even under demanding conditions such as a disruption of main gas infrastructure lasting 30 days, and also prepare Preventive Action Plans and Emergency Plans to prevent and deal with crises. They must cooperate at regional level and help each other to always guarantee gas supply to the most vulnerable consumers even in severe gas crisis situations.

Secure supplies of oil

EU countries are required to maintain oil stocks equal to at least 90 days of their average daily consumption under the Minimum Stocks of Crude Oil and/or Petroleum Products Directive.

Secure supplies of electricity

The EU works with member countries and transmission system operators to prevent and manage electricity black-outs. The Electricity Coordination Group is a forum for sharing information. In November 2016, as part of the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package, the Commission proposed a new Regulation on Electricity Risk-Preparedness.

Supplier countries and routes

The EU works closely with its supplier countries. This includes collaboration with Russia and Norway who together supply over half of the EU's gas and over 40% of its oil.

At the same time, the EU works with countries along supply routes to prevent supply disruptions. It is also aiming to build new transit routes such as the Southern Gas Corridor to diversify its supplies by bringing in gas from the Caspian countries.