Thu. Oct 6th, 2022

Strasbourg, 13 September 2022

Measures against the dramatic rise in energy prices were up for a debate with the Czech Council Presidency and the Commission on Tuesday.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is set to present emergency proposals on energy during her State of the European Union speech in plenary tomorrow.

During the debate, the Czech Council Presidency announced that Council will seek to approve the European Commission’s upcoming proposals during an emergency meeting at the end of September.

European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said that the Commission will propose measures to reduce electricity demand during peak price hours in order to bring more balance to the market. It will also introduce an EU-wide limit on the remuneration of low-carbon energy, so that revenues above that cap will be used to help member states support vulnerable consumers. She also said that the Commission will work with electricity market regulators to address the liquidity problems on the market.

During the debate, MEPs emphasized the need to ensure that the EU response is built on solidarity, and that profits made by energy companies must be used to protect consumers. Many urged for a further boost for renewables and developing cross-border energy interconnections – in particular between France and Spain. Germany should not close its remaining nuclear plants in the current circumstances, several said. Other MEPs demanded measures against speculation on the gas market and to cut peak electricity demand, while some considered electricity to be a public good that should not be traded on a stock market.

Background

Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the disruption of Russian gas supplies has led to skyrocketing electricity prices and market volatility, leading the Commission and member states to consider new policy options such as capping prices or decoupling of gas and electricity prices.

In recent months, Parliament and Council have adopted an emergency plan for filling gas reserves. The Commission has also launched the RepowerEU plan as well as EU-wide gas consumption reduction measures.

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