In light of the gas shortages precipitated by Europe’s ill-considered sanctions which it imposed against Russia following its military incursion into Ukraine, the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, has warned member states to prepare for power outages and other emergencies in the coming months.
While speaking with the media group Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland on Tuesday, the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič (EPP), said given that blackouts across Europe are a real possibility this winter, the EU’s executive authority is presently making contingency plans in case the grim prospect becomes a reality, the Hamburg-based newspaper Der Spiegel reports.
“It is quite possible that disaster relief will be needed within the EU,” Lenarčič said, adding that the Commission is preparing for two scenarios: one, if blackouts occur in a small number of member states; and two, if a large number of countries within the bloc are affected by blackouts at the same time.
If the first scenario were to occur, the EU commissioner says “other EU states can supply power generators through us, as happens during natural disasters.” Alternatively, if a large number of countries were affected by blackouts, member states would have to cap their emergency aid deliveries to other member states and the Commission could then draw from its strategic reserve to meet their needs.
Included in these strategic reserves, Lenarčič continued, are firefighting aircraft, generators, water pumps fuel, medical equipment, and medicines. Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU Commission took measures to prepare the bloc to react to “chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear emergencies,” the commissioner said.
Reacting to the less than rosy news, German MEP Christine Anderson (ID) blamed the Commission for pursuing policies which have left the people of the continent highly vulnerable position they now find themselves in.
“Is the European Commission waking up from its delusion? It fears power cuts in Europe because of sanctions against Russia and is preparing for the big blackout in the EU. Disaster in the making due to arrogant elite politics!” she wrote on social media.
The EU commissioner’s bleak statements come days after Robert Habeck, Germany’s economic minister, directly appealed to citizens to reduce their gas consumption as the energy crisis looms, warning that the country risks running out of its gas reserves over the winter months if they fail to do so, as previously reported by The European Conservative.