On 8 March 2022, the European Commission published a communication on a Joint European Action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy. The communication outlines a plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030, starting with gas.

It sets out the short-term measures to be undertaken by the EU and Member States to (i) protect European consumers from energy price hikes and (ii) ensure that the EU will have sufficient gas stocks as winter approaches.

In addition, the communication lays the foundations for the REPowerEU plan, which the Commission proposes to implement with Member States as from summer 2022, to progressively eliminate the EU’s dependence on Russian gas by raising the EU’s decarbonisation ambitions and accelerating the pace of decarbonisation. This communication is not legally binding on companies nor Member States. Rather, it is an action plan and the initiatives announced will have to be further developed before their consequences can be fully appreciated. Some of these initiatives will be addressed in the ongoing negotiations of the ‘Fit for 55’ package and the ‘Hydrogen and Decarbonised Gas’ package, and will likely figure prominently in the debates.


Christopher Jones is a Principal in the European Competition Law Practice Group in the Brussels office. He joined Baker McKenzie in 2018. Christopher's career has spanned more than 30 years at the European Commission, focusing on energy policy and competition policy. During the last two decades, Christopher held a wide range of key energy posts including Director for Renewable Energy, Energy research and Energy Efficiency, Deputy Head of Cabinet for the Energy Commissioner and Deputy Director General for Energy. He has been at the forefront of many major key energy and competition law decisions and innovations. He played a key role in the evolution of EU competition law towards the more economic and market based instrument it is today, and was instrumental in the successful implementation of EU merger control. He was the central EU official in opening up energy markets to competition as well as developing and implementing the core of the EU's energy policy as it is today; driving the '20-20-20' renewables and energy efficiency decarbonisation agendas, and setting the gas strategy and research policies. Christopher is also an expert on competition policy, having spent 11 years in the field including responsibility for antitrust and mergers in the Cabinet of the Energy Commissioner, and as personal Policy Assistant to two Directors' General. He is a leading academic in the competition and energy areas, as a part-time Professor at the European University Institute, editing and co-authoring a number of standard text books on Competition Law and Energy Markets, the Internal Energy Market, and EU Renewable Law and Policy, as well as books on merger control and the standard competition law reference work, the EU Competition Law Handbook.


Klaus-Dieter Borchardt is a Senior Energy Advisor at the European & Competition Law Practice in the Baker McKenzie Brussels office. He joined the Firm in 2020. Klaus-Dieter worked for 33 years at the European Commission, including four years at the European Court of Justice. When he left the European Commission, he was Deputy Director General for Energy. Klaus-Dieter is also an expert in EU Law, having spent 12 years in the Commissions' Legal Service where he was responsible for state aid, internal market and agriculture. He is a Professor at the Julius-Maximilians-University, author of a standard textbook on EU Law and co-editor of a commentary of the EU Treaties.