Meeting this Thursday in Brussels, the energy ministers approved the content of a text providing for group purchases of gas – in which consortia of companies can voluntarily participate – and a solidarity mechanism for countries threatened with shortages, as well another text simplifying authorizations for renewable energy infrastructures. But these texts have not been formally approved, due to an outcry against a third Commission proposal aimed at capping gas prices.
“The discussions were stormy”
“The formal adoption will take place later, together with the political agreement” on this capping mechanism, declared Czech Minister Jozef Sikela, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council. “Discussions have been heated on this point, there are very divergent positions, but the debate has only just begun,” he added. Prague has convened a new ministerial meeting for mid-December, hoping to unblock the file before a summit of the leaders of the Twenty-Seven.
“Unacceptable for everyone in the state”
“We have stabilized positions on two texts on which there will be no more negotiations. The third is unacceptable for everyone as it stands, and there was a majority of States to ask that we decide on the whole, it is a question of balance, ”explained Belgian Minister Tinne van der Straeten.
The controversial mechanism proposed by the European executive on Tuesday would consist of capping for one year the prices of monthly contracts on the TTF reference gas market as soon as they exceed 275 EUR/MWh for two consecutive weeks, among other conditions – which is not is ever produced, even at the height of the price spike last August.
“A joke”, “inapplicable and ineffective”
“At this level, it’s not a ceiling! Gas prices are threatening households and businesses, we have wasted too much time without results”, fulminated, this Thursday, the Greek Minister Kostas Skrekas, while his Polish counterpart Anna Moskwa castigated “a joke” and demanded a new proposal “ in the next few days”.
Spanish Minister Teresa Ribera judged the Commission’s text “inapplicable and ineffective”, calling it a “bad joke”.
At the end of the meeting, the French Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, welcomed the agreement reached on the acceleration of renewable energies, group purchases or even on the idea of ”cutting -circuits” to stem the volatility of hydrocarbon prices on the markets. In contrast, the price cap proposal “does not go far enough to protect our businesses and our industry. The Commission will have to make new proposals,” she stressed.
letelegramme Fr Trans