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Gas, solidarity agreement signed in Berlin between Italy and Germany: what is it for?

Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, Italian Minister of Environment and Energy Security, and his German colleague, Robert Habeck, Minister of Economy and Climate Protection, signed a bilateral intergovernmental agreement of solidarity on gas issues on 19 May in Berlin. The signing took held at the German Foreign Ministry as part of the ‘Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue’ (Betd).

“Under the agreement, Italy, through the Mase, and Germany, through the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate, commit to activating, in case of emergency, all necessary measures, both market and non-market, to ensure the supply of natural gas to the protected customers of the Requesting Party, in compliance with the technical safety regulations of the gas system of each party,” reads a statement from the Mase. Also, a trilateral Addendum on gas was signed between Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. “We are very pleased to sign this agreement today, which is one of the concrete objectives outlined in the Italian-German Action Plan signed in October by our two heads of government,” said Pichetto.

“At the same time,” he added, “it is a piece of the European framework for energy security and response to the crisis resulting from the Russian aggression against Ukraine. This agreement provides extreme measures, with compensation mechanisms and respect for gas transport system limits, to be implemented once national measures are exhausted, in case one of the countries is hit by a serious crisis.”

“But I believe that the greatest commitment that Italy, Germany, and other European countries must undertake is to prevent the conditions for the activation of these agreements from being created. This is what we did in Brussels when Italy promoted the price cap,” the Minister of Environment and Energy Security clarified. “I am pleased,” he concluded, “that an agreement has been reached to include our Swiss friends in this scheme, with a tool aimed at increasing the level of energy security of our countries. In this way, we consolidate our role as a European energy hub.”



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