The European Commission moves. From its first compilation of proposals six months ago to what is now on the table, it shows that there is a widespread feeling in Brussels that something more must be done than lower taxes and provide state aid. This was stated in the last communication, dated March 8, in which the possibility of regulating prices was endorsed. In the same way that it has been assuming two Spanish proposals, such as joint gas purchases and strategic storage.
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But this Thursday and Friday the leaders meet, after two weeks ago, in Versailles, they mandated the European Commission to bring new proposals and specify the most recent ones, those included in their March 8 paper.
This Wednesday more will be known and, in any case, the leaders will have the last word but, for now, the vice president of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic, has recognized this Tuesday that, indeed, some of these measures will seek to “limit the price of the electricity and gas”, although it has not explained whether this cap will mean decoupling the price of gas from the electricity bill, whether it will be a temporary or exceptional measure or whether it will mean modifying the electricity market.
“We must accelerate towards greater sustainability in energy security and climate neutrality”, Sefcovic said this Tuesday in Brussels after the meeting of the General Affairs Council preparatory to the European summit: “We will seek to limit the prices of electricity and gas, and mitigate rising electricity prices for consumers. At the same time, we will take measures to guarantee the security of energy supply for future winters, such as the legislative proposal to guarantee that gas storages remain at an adequate level”.
According to the vice-president of the European Commission, “storage is a critical infrastructure. We will also introduce provisions to address the risks of ownership of gas infrastructure. These measures will help us adapt to the new security reality in Europe, which represents a major change in our strategic environment.” In this sense, it is about putting a stop to the properties of the Russian giant Gazprom within the EU.
“In the Commission we feel the same as the heads of state and government”, recognizes Sefcovic: “We have great volatility in the energy market and that due to high gas prices, the general impact on energy prices it is detrimental from the point of view of energy poverty and the competitiveness of European industry. We have to find the best possible solutions to solve this. For this reason, our intention is to work on the best options available to the heads of state and government, because each option has its pros and cons.”