Seven countries jointly conduct large-scale electricity crisis exercise

On 24 – 26 October, representatives from Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland took part in a cooperative exercise to practice the execution of necessary measures in case of a large-scale regional electricity crisis. The exercise, named PENTEX 2023, took place in The Hague and was organised by the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy with support from the Benelux Secretariat and experts from all Penta countries. The goal of the exercise was to enhance preparedness for possible crises in the electricity sector in a regional setting.

For the exercise, experts and high-level representatives from Ministries, grid operators and crisis centers from all Penta countries worked jointly on a scenario where a cyber-attack occurred threatening the security of supply of electricity throughout Europe. The scenario allowed testing information exchange and decision-making processes in case of a crisis between countries on various levels.

It also gave participants a view into the crisis management structure of each Penta member state, to foster a trusted international network of collaboration.

‘It is crucial that we practice together in order to be collectively prepared for a wide-scale electricity crisis. The electricity system is highly integrated and will require a coordinated response from all Penta countries in the event of a crisis’– Michel Heijdra, DG Climate & Energy

The PENTA countries conduct crisis exercises on a regular basis, in line with the requirements of the European Regulation on risk preparedness in the electricity sector. The results and lessons learned will serve as an important basis for future work within the Pentalateral Energy Forum, and thus further improve the risk preparedness in the electricity sector within the region and beyond.


Penta is the framework for regional energy cooperation between Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Since 2005, the participating countries have been working together on a voluntary basis. Work in the Pentalateral Energy Forum is guided by the respective ministers of energy, who regularly meet. They give guidance to the work in the Forum, to foster the integration of their domestic electricity markets, and thereby take the lead in Europe.