“We act within our prerogatives within our powers and we act
based on the information we have and we feel it is vital that we all remain
calm despite the hot temperatures outside, and that with a cool head we can
discuss the best way to respond to this crisis”, said the European Commission's
main spokesman, Eric Mamer.
Asked at the institution's daily press conference in
Brussels about the opposition of countries such as Portugal, Spain, Greece and
Poland to the proposal presented on Wednesday by the community executive, Eric
Mamer declined to comment on “specific political statements”.
“This is not a game we are going to play,” he added.
Recalling that, in the EU, there have already been “fierce
debates” on other matters, the spokesman considered it necessary to
“effectively strengthen European solidarity in the field of energy”.
And he warned: "None of us should make the mistake of
believing that there is only one member state concerned with dependence on
“We should all be very aware of the fact that what might
start out as a problem in the energy field will very quickly become a problem
in economic terms and I don't think anyone is interested in that”, said Eric
So far, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Poland have expressed
their disagreement with the proposed measure, which will be discussed during
the extraordinary Council next Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the European Commission proposed a target to
reduce EU gas consumption by 15% by the spring, when Russian supply is feared
to be cut, admitting to proceed with a mandatory reduction in demand in the
face of warning.
The objective is that, between August 1st of this year and
March 31st, 2023, Member States reduce their consumption of natural gas by 15%
(compared to the historical average in that period, considering the years 2017
to 2021), in order to increase the European storage level and create a safety
cushion for emergency situations.
In Portugal, Russian gas represented, in 2021, less than 10%
of the total imported.