The European Commission will present this Wednesday its document with measures to face the rise in energy prices, which is having an impact on the electricity bill paid by households and companies, in response to the many European capitals that have demanded a coordinated reaction to the current scenario.
Brussels appreciated releasing its document last Tuesday, but finally chose to delay its publication by a week in order to make room for the debates that took place last week, both at the level of ministers and at the informal dinner of the heads of State and Government in Slovenia.
The document will be presented at a press conference by the Energy Commissioner, Kadri Simson, once it has received the go-ahead at a meeting of the Commissioners’ College.
Spain, France and Greece have been the partners of the bloc that have most forcefully demanded the EU to respond to the rise in energy prices. They were joined by other Czech Republic, Romania and Poland, who have also recently raised their voices to ask for the reaction of the European institutions.
The Community Executive responded by promising a document that would outline the measures that the Member States can adopt immediately within the limits of current legislation. This includes measures that go through helping the most vulnerable households or tax cuts, among other issues.
But some European governments have lobbied for larger measures. Spain, for example, has suggested the creation of a platform that manages joint gas purchases in the image of the centralized procurement of vaccines during the coronavirus pandemic.
Through a letter sent several weeks ago by the Vice Presidents of Economic Affairs and Ecological Transition, Nadia Calviño and Teresa Ribera, respectively, the Spanish Government also requested measures to end speculation in the European CO2 emissions trading system ( ETS) and redesign the European electricity market.
The French Government, for its part, has demanded action to reduce the link between the price of gas and the electricity bill, while Greece has proposed creating a compensation fund for the transition that uses the income of the ETS system and is activated in exceptional situations like the current one.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, picked up part of the demands of these countries in a press conference last week from Estonia, when she affirmed that Brussels is evaluating the creation of a “strategic reserve” of gas to reduce the block dependency on imports of this resource.
Faced with the position of Spain, France and Greece, other partners such as Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden or Finland prefer that the EU’s reaction is limited to counteracting the impact of the current situation with short-term measures and reject a reform in depth of the current European electricity system.