EU's von der Leyen blacked out by EU27 in deal to keep the lights on this winter

Commission denied power to make cuts, but EU's biggest Putin gas guzzler Germany didn't get its way either

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2022

Facts4EU.Org sheds some light on the 'non-deal' reached in Brussels yesterday

Yesterday in Brussels, Ursula von der Leyen’s EU Commission failed in its bid to impose severe energy reductions on EU member countries as a result of the over-reliance of some EU countries on Russian gas, which has now been cut by 80%.

As a result of Brexit, the United Kingdom has escaped this threat.

Germany must now get out its greatcoats and prepare for winter

The EU’s largest economy, Germany, is the biggest customer for President Putin and his Gazprom gas supply company.

In addition, according to the official figures from the EU’s statistics agency Germany consumes more than one-fifth of the entire amount of electricity supply in the EU.

If the new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz thought that all the other EU member countries would roll over and agree to the plans from (German) EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for compulsory gas cuts, he was going to be disappointed.

In our report below, prepared in association with our affiliated organisation CIBUK.Org, Facts4EU.Org reveals the extraordinary facts about electricity consumption in the EU, using official data obtained from the EU Commission’s statistics agency.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

EU primary energy consumption – percentage of gigawatt hours

Latest official figures for 2020, starting with some background

  • Three EU countries consume almost half EU's total electricity supply
  • Add in three more and these six EU countries account for 70% of total EU consumption
  • The remaining 21 EU countries were being asked to make sacrifices for ‘The Big Six’
  • Germany : 21.2%
  • France : 16.9%
  • Italy : 10.7%
  • Total of the ‘Top 3’ : 48.8%
  • Spain : 8.5%
  • Poland : 7.8%
  • Netherlands : 4.7%
  • Total of the ‘Top 6’ : 69.8%

[Source: EU Commission statistics agency Eurostat, accessed 26 July 2022.]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2022 - click to enlarge

Always look behind the EU’s propaganda

Reading both the EU Commission’s and EU Council’s statements released yesterday on the new agreement, readers could be forgiven for thinking all is sweetness and light in the EU.

The reality is rather different. Firstly, the disagreements were such that there is still no agreed text from the EU Council.

“The text agreed today will be formally adopted through a written procedure. The written procedure will be launched and concluded in the days to come, following technical revisions of the text.”

- EU Council, statement 26 July 2022

Secondly the EU member countries refused to allow the EU Commission to issue a ‘mandatory directive’ on the reduction in energy consumption. Instead this is now the prerogative of the EU Council of 27 national leaders and only if there is deemed to be an emergency.

Finally, it’s clear that many countries disagreed and have been exempted from the plan, or will have ‘derogations’ from it. We don’t yet know which countries but it’s clear there will be quite a list.

In plain English this is a typical EU fudge.

Here is what the EU Council said yesterday

“In an effort to increase EU security of energy supply, member states today reached a political agreement on a voluntary reduction of natural gas demand by 15% this winter. The Council regulation also foresees the possibility to trigger a ‘Union alert’ on security of supply, in which case the gas demand reduction would become mandatory.”

- EU Council, 26 July 2022

Ah, but….

“Whereas all EU countries will use their best efforts to meet the reductions, the Council specified some exemptions and possibilities to request a derogation from the mandatory reduction target, in order to reflect the particular situations of member states and ensure that the gas reductions are effective in increasing security of supply in the EU.”

- EU Council, 26 July 2022

The EU Council goes on at length about this and if readers wish they can read the latest statement here.


Thank goodness the United Kingdom left the European Union when it did

The attempts by the EU to present some kind of ‘united position’ yesterday are completely fictitious. There is no common policy.

It would be surprising if there were, given the disparity of energy supplies and usage across a bloc that contains countries with completely different characteristics. Instead we have been presented with a statement by Ursula von der Leyen saying :

“I strongly welcome the endorsement by Council of the Council Regulation on coordinated demand reduction measures for gas.

“The political agreement reached by Council in record time, based on the Commission's proposal ‘Save gas for a safe winter’ tabled last week, will ensure an orderly and coordinated reduction of gas consumption across the EU to prepare for the coming winter.”

“Thanks to today's decision, we are now ready to address our energy security at European scale, as a Union.”

- Ursula von der Leyen, Brussels, 26 July 2022

This statement is thoroughly disingenuous, to say the least. Facts4EU.Org predicts the list of countries signing up fully will be shorter than the list of countries with opt-outs, derogations, exemptions, special measures and caveats.

What happened yesterday was akin to a Brussels blackout - a refusal by EU countries to take the orders of an unelected EU Commission on their energy usage. And as for EU unity? Er... no.

It looks probable there's a long, cold winter ahead for the EU.

Facts4EU.Org needs you today

We are a 'not for profit' team (we make a loss) and any donation goes towards the actual work, not plush London offices, lunch or taxi expenses, or other luxuries of some organisations.

We badly need more of our thousands of readers to donate. Could this be you, today? Maybe you've been thinking about it, but just haven't got around to doing it? If so, let us reassure you. It's quick and easy and we use two highly secure payment providers. And we do NOT ask you for further donations if you donate once - we just hope that you keep supporting us. Your donation stays anonymous unless you tell us otherwise.

Please don't assume that other people will keep us going - we don't receive enough to survive and we need your help today. Could you help us?

Most of our readers are well-informed and appreciate our fact-based articles, presented in a way you won't see anywhere else. If you value reports like the one above, please help our work with a donation. We have far more to do in researching, publishing, campaigning and lobbying Parliament than we have in terms of the financial resources to fulfil these tasks. We badly need funding to continue - we rely 100% on public donations from readers like you.

If you believe in a fully-free, independent, and sovereign United Kingdom, please make a donation now. It’s quick, secure, and confidential, and you can use one of the links below or you can use our Donations page here. You will receive a personal, friendly ‘thank you’ from a member of our team within 24 hours. Thank you for reading this.

[ Sources: EU Council | EU Commission ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Wed 27 July 2022

Click here to go to our news headlines

Please scroll down to COMMENT on the above article.
And don't forget to actually post your message after you have previewed it!

Share this article on

Something to say about this? Scroll down for reader comments

Since before the EU Referendum, Brexit Facts4EU.Org
has been the most prolific researcher and publisher of Brexit facts in the world.

Supported by MPs, MEPs, & other groups, our work has impact.

We think facts matter. Please donate today, so that we can continue to ensure a clean Brexit is finally delivered.

Any credit card user

Quick One-off


From £5 - £1,000



From £3 per month

Paypal Users Only - Choose amount first

Quick One-off