Efforts to bolster EU energy security need to intensify

Published

The Government considers that concrete changes need to be made to the European energy supply. EU Member States need to reduce their dependence on Russian energy. This was conveyed by Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren and Minister for Energy and Digital Development Khashayar Farmanbar at a press briefing.

In light of the serious security situation, Mr Dahlgren and Mr Farmanbar held a press briefing on Sunday regarding the energy security situation in the EU.

“The security situation clearly shows that we need a more secure and sustainable energy supply in Europe. It’s time to intensify efforts to strengthen the EU’s energy security,” said Mr Dahlgren.

The Swedish Government takes the position that the EU should not be dependent on a few external suppliers to manage its energy supply. In the long term, the EU should, to a large extent, supply its own energy.

Sweden already has a low dependence on imported nuclear fuel, oil and gas from Russia. By contrast, large parts of Europe are highly dependent on Russian energy imports. The consequences of this dependence are now showing on the energy markets, and in Sweden in the form of increased energy prices.

“The Government wants to see two concrete changes to the European energy supply. Firstly, the EU needs to stop depending on Russian gas. Secondly, the EU Member States need to stop importing nuclear fuel from Russia. I believe there is a broad consensus in the EU that it’s not sustainable to depend on Russia for our energy supply. Given the current situation, it’s more important than ever to increase our own production of renewable energy to accelerate the transition and break the dependence on imported energy,” said Mr Farmanbar.

About two per cent of the total Swedish energy supply consists of natural gas, and an estimated half of this come from Russia. However, several EU countries are dependent on Russian gas to manage their energy supply.

“That’s unsustainable from both a security and a climate perspective. The shift away from Russian gas will not happen overnight, and the entire EU needs to help with these efforts,” stated Mr Farmanbar.

At the press briefing, Mr Dahlgren also presented a third initiative.

“Climate transition must be accelerated. We must replace our dependence on fossil fuels – not just Russian gas – with fossil-free alternatives. Making the EU self-sufficient in energy would be a very important reform, in terms of both energy policy and security policy. We need to do this to improve both our climate and our security,” concluded Mr Dahlgren.

This article was published in Swedish on Sunday 6 February 2022.