Leaders from several Mediterranean and southern European countries have called on Brussels to come up with a more flexible gas price cap mechanism than the recently proposed cap of €220 per megawatt-hour.
The call at an EU-Med9 summit in Spain further underscored divisions within the EU over the proposed cap. The bloc originally proposed a cap of €275 last month, but this was met with considerable opposition. Several EU members do not want any price cap.
Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said EU-Med leaders agreed to work together so that the December 13 meeting between EU energy ministers can achieve “a price cap for more dynamic and efficient gas”.
When the first figure of €275 was proposed, Spain and others said it was so high that the price was highly unlikely to reach that figure and therefore the cap mechanism n would ever need to be activated.
Spain and other countries want a much lower and more fluid ceiling, linked to a market index that can be applied whenever necessary. This, in turn, they say, would help both countries and consumers more realistically.
The energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year dominated the summit. Leaders reiterated the need for the EU to build on European energy sovereignty and achieve independence from Russian fossil fuels.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday’s talks had produced “a real convergence towards the security of (energy) supplies and the reduction of gas prices”.
According to him, the leaders share “collective support for group purchases” of gas and aim in particular to conclude medium and long-term contracts together for the next three to five years, in order to bring down prices.