The European Commission (EC) and European Parliament have signed an agreement on new regulations to avoid the crisis of gas supply.

As part of the new rules, the European Union (EU) member states need to extend help for the neighboring country in a situation of gas shortage.

According to EC, the new rules ensure a regionally coordinated and common approach to security of supply measures among EU member states.

Under the solidarity principle, the neighbouring member states have to supply gas to households and provide essential social services in the event of a severe gas crisis.

The regional groups will enable to jointly assess common security of supply risks and develop an agreement on joint preventive and emergency measures. 

In addition, the natural gas companies need to inform about long-term contracts, which are relevant for security of supply (28% of the annual gas consumption in the member state).

The text will be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council, following the political agreement, which will be based on a trilogue negotiation between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission.

European Commission’ Energy Union vice president Maroš Šefcovic said: “We have made important progress in improving energy security, one of the Energy Union's main objectives. The new rules are built upon solidarity and cooperation among the Member States.

“While the national conditions and specificities of the Member States are an important building block, the EU-wide framework of regional groups makes coordinated actions possible. Thus, Europe becomes better equipped to avoid and cope with eventual crises."