Energy ministers from Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg met today in Brussels to discuss security of supply and energy transition. As part of the Pentalateral Energy Forum, chaired by Luxembourg and attended by EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, the ministers agreed on an improved crisis communication protocol and a number of possible measures to enable mutual assistance in the region.
The Pentalateral Energy Forum is a framework for regional energy cooperation that has initiated several actions for greater electricity market integration and improved security of supply in Europe. Luxembourg's presidency in 2022 was marked by the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis. The existing network of trust between authorities and ministers from different countries proved useful on many occasions: to strengthen coordination around gas storage, to exchange information on energy saving campaigns and to compare and improve security of supply assessments at national and European level.
For Luxembourg's Energy Minister, Claude Turmes, the Pentalateral Energy Forum is a reliable formula for regional energy cooperation: 'Among the main achievements of this Forum during Luxembourg's presidency, there are in particular the efforts made to ensure the security of energy supply of our region through continuous exchanges at different levels. Furthermore, important steps have been taken towards the creation of a true regional hub for renewable energy."
The energy ministers also recognised the crucial role of a well-functioning market in securing the region's energy supply. In the future, they want to further expand the efficient use of interconnections between countries. At the same time, they now have a toolbox of predefined measures that can be used in a cross-border context.
Despite the energy crisis, the ministers have also made progress in developing a common understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the energy transition. Renewable energy will prevail. The future energy needs of industry can be organised more intelligently. Ministers also agreed to deepen work on hydrogen certification.
The Netherlands will chair the Pentalateral Energy Forum from 1 January 2023, under the rotating Benelux presidency, and will continue the work.