Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Dr Robert Habeck and Austria’s Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology Ms Leonore Gewessler signed a joint declaration on closer cooperation between the two countries in the current energy crisis in Vienna today. At the beginning of December 2021, Germany and Austria had already concluded a bilateral solidarity agreement to master severe gas shortages in accordance with the European SoS Regulation. They now want to further deepen this collaboration. This applies in particular to the use of LNG infrastructues and the filling of gas storage facilities, specifically the 7 Fields and Haidach facilities located in Austria, which are both also directly connected to the German grid.

Federal Minister Robert Habeck said: "In the current energy crisis, European solidarity is more important than ever. This includes closer coordination and cooperation between direct neighbours. Russia will not succeed in dividing Europe. In fact, the opposite is true: we are working even harder together to overcome our dependence on Russian fuels as soon as possible. Closer cooperation between neighbouring countries also helps to strengthen resilience throughout the EU. Germany and Austria are working together closely and with keen resolve. In the short term, we will rapidly fill our storage facilities to increase our reserves, and in the medium term, we will speed up the expansion of renewable energy, energy saving and the ramp-up of green hydrogen to secure our energy supply on a sustainable basis."

Federal Minister Leonore Gewessler said: "We are currently facing a major common challenge in the whole of Europe. We need to free ourselves from the shackles of Vladimir Putin to safeguard independence and freedom for our countries. Both of us share this view. I am therefore delighted that Germany’s Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck and I have signed a joint declaration today which affirms this. In this difficult situation, we will not allow ourselves to be divided. We will rather intensify our cooperation in three very specific areas, namely transmission rights for natural gas, the use of gas storage facilities, and the joint diversification of our gas supply."

The joint declaration (in German) is available hier (PDF, 134 KB).