| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

Poland wants right to block EU plan to reduce gas demand, PM says

Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, stated on Thursday that a potential vote on a mandatory cut in gas use inside the European Union must be unanimous, not by a simple majority.

Following compromise agreements to cap consumption reductions for some nations, European Union countries bracing for additional cuts in Russian gas supply on Tuesday adopted a modest emergency plan to reduce demand.

Under the plan the cuts could be made binding in a supply emergency, provided a majority of EU countries agree. Hungary was the only country that opposed the plan, two EU officials said.

Poland had said it was against binding cuts, and on Thursday Morawiecki said he wanted to have the possibility to veto such a decision.

“We absolutely favour such a vote in this matter – due to the fact that it concerns electricity, the energy mix – being in the mode of so-called unanimity, where Poland has the right to veto. We demand it,” he told private broadcaster Polsat News.

“If the EU tries to coerce us into voting by qualified majority, we will protest strongly. If necessary, we will make a formal veto, and then, unfortunately, the attitude to this veto will depend on decisions of the bodies of the European Union.”

Poland’s climate minister said in a separate interview that Poland has already achieved a significant reduction in gas consumption and a discussion about compulsory cuts was “unnecessary”.

“I hope it will never happen … we will absolutely not support such a (compulsory) reduction, and in the worst case, if we are outvoted, we simply won’t comply,” Anna Moskwa told public broadcaster TVP.

  • Reuters