“These are the measures we needed”
After nine hours of talks European heads of state and government reached agreement on a package of measures to keep spiralling gas prices under control.
The EU wants talks with industry to see if a maximum price for gas can be introduced. The Europeans will now also be able to make joint purchases of gas. Prime minister De Croo said that these are “the measures that we need for the short-term”.
“The joint purchases will happen in the same way we bought corona vaccines,” said Mr De Croo. “We will use the volume of our purchases to negotiate lower prices to ensure everybody can always count on cheap gas”.
The European commission will investigate the possibility of a price ceiling for gas. “You should see this price mechanism in connection with the joint purchases. The commission will be able to do well in negotiations as the price ceiling can be used to exert pressure”.
“It’s important to work with the sector to ensure perfect implementation and security of supply”.
Mr De Croo was also upbeat about the new solidarity mechanism, which should allow all member states to replenish supplies in winter. European solidarity will allow countries without the necessary storage capacity to build up reserves elsewhere.
“Our citizens and businesses will notice this. The technical details will be worked out in coming days”.
The EU is allowing Spain and Portugal to take special action to lower the gas price in the peninsula.