The gas price cap keeps the EU divided and extends its decision for a month


A deep division persists among EU countries on the need to intervene in the gas marketalthough the Twenty-seven do hope to approve the less controversial measures, such as the joint hydrocarbon purchasesin an extraordinary Energy Council convened the next November 24. It is the main reading of a council of energy ministers of the EU countries held in Luxembourg where the positions have barely moved despite several ordinary and extraordinary meetings, ministerial and leaders, formal and informal, held from the month of september.

A majority of countries claim interventionist measureshow to emulate throughout the EU a system similar to “Iberian mechanism“that decouples gas and electricity or a price cap on gas purchases, compared to another immobile block led by Germany and the Netherlands aligned with the European Commission that fears disrupting the markets or putting endangered the supply of that hydrocarbon.

The Commission arrived at the meeting in Luxembourg with an orientation document with pros and cons on a possible extension to the rest of the EU of the Iberian mechanism enjoyed by Spain and Portugal, where disadvantages seem to prevail. could have electricity leaks subsidized by the EU to third countries, member states with a lot of gas in electricity generation -such as Germany, Holland either Italy– They would barely earn anything and could increase gas consumption, warns the document.

“It is clear that some Member States and the Commission do not believe that the ‘Iberian mechanism’ is the way forward and offers a alternative approach. But to properly evaluate it, we need more details, concrete legal proposals or an impact study,” Czech Industry Minister, Jozsef Sikela. “There are those who say that very low gas prices could discourage consuming less gas. I would love to have to deal with this situation. I think the game is not over,” he added.

Alongside the Czech minister, the European Commissioner for Energy appeared, the Estonian Kadri Simson, which has avoided controversial questions with ambiguous and open answers. “We have shown before that we can propose legislative packages in days”, said the politician when asked if the Commission would present a legal proposal, for example, to put a maximum price on gas purchases, another initiative that displeases berlin Y Hague.

Community sources already specified without microphones that the idea of ​​the Executive is not to do no new legal proposal before the 24th. As they indicated, they will wait to see if there is more consensus among the capitals at that meeting and, in any case, later present those draft legislation who want a majority of capital.

Before the end of the year there is scheduled a leaders summit on December 15-16 and on the 19th of that month another council of energy ministers. “I hope I don’t have to spoil Christmas for you,” the Czech minister, who has already called four extraordinary energy tips since he began his semester of presidency of the Council of the EU in July. “Few concrete advances, but much more precision about what we expect from the Commission,” said the Spanish vice president on her part Teresa of Ribera leaving the council.

November meeting

On November 24, the capitals do hope to approve the legal measures already proposed by the Commission. For example, the system of joint purchases of 15% of the gas reserves of the States, which should come into force after this winter, the creation of an alternative index to the Amsterdam TTF that better reflects the growing strength of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the EU, which is expected in April, a system for curb volatility intraday on that reference or a mechanism of solidarity between countries if gas is scarce.


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