The EU poposed that all member states cut their natural gas usage by 15%. Initially, this would be voluntary, but, if Russia continued to supply less gas or even cut off the supply to Europe, the EU would then step in to mandate gas usage throughout the block and implement “gas sharing” schemes. That was the proposal, but several states, including Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy and Poland have refused to back the plan.
One of the main resons stated is that some of the Member States don’t use Russian gas, so why sohuld they participate? Shutting down Germany’s nuclear plants is also seen as a self inflicted wound. The fact is that if the German economy, which relies heavily on natural gas from Russia, was to collapse, the whole EU would suffer, as Germany is a main contributer of finance to the block. Now that the UK has left, more responsibility has passed to Germany and France, the two largest economies. Will the EU now get tough? We shall have to wait and see.