Hungary and Poland voted against the European Union’s plan to voluntarily reduce natural gas consumption by 15 % compared to the five-year average for the period from 1 August 2022 to 31 March 2023. These are the only member states opposed to the initiative.
Hungarian authorities dispute the legitimacy of the European Union’s plans, arguing that they affect the country’s energy security. On the other hand, Poland called the treaty’s legal basis flawed, adding that decisions affecting the energy balance of EU countries must be taken with the unanimous approval of all member states.
Nevertheless, the plan was approved as it received a qualified majority. Hungarian authorities said that the country will company with the initiative, although it voted against it.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February and the West protested with economic sanctions, 12 EU countries have faced halts to, or reductions in, Russian gas deliveries. Although it has agreed to embargo oil and coal from Russia starting later this year, the EU has refrained from sanctioning Russian natural gas because Germany, Italy and some other member states rely heavily on these imports.