‘There is an urgent need for concrete measures.’ This is what Charles Michel, President of the European Council, said seven days before the special meeting of European energy ministers
Charles Michel thus seems to want to increase the pressure on the European Commission.
The chairman had a meeting with the Belgian media on Friday, in the run-up to the meeting on 9 September. At the end of August, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission, stated that an urgent intervention and structural reform of the energy market is being prepared. Since then, preliminary notes have regularly leaked to the press. This includes discussion of price ceilings. However, there are still no concrete proposals.
‘We can’t wait for the State of the Union (the annual speech of the Commission President of 14 September, ed.), said Charles Michel on Friday. He says he experiences impatience among European heads of state and government. According to him, a price ceiling can take various forms. Currently, the market price for electricity is determined by the most expensive technology currently active, often a gas-fired power station.
‘We are in a vicious circle that must be broken’, says Michel. According to the European president, there has been no consensus among the 27 member states in recent months, but something is moving in the meantime. After all, mitigating the crisis for consumers costs governments a lot of money, the chairman argued. According to a study by the economic think tank Bruegel, this would already be 280 billion euros. ‘We are currently seeing a paradox between decisions at European level and those of some Member States entering into bilateral talks with producer countries. This has an undesired effect, because the price often increases. A serious discussion must be held about this at the latest in October’, says Michel.
This includes Hungary, which signed an agreement on its own with the Russian gas company Gazprom, which has stopped deliveries to several other European countries.