European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU must urgently intervene in the energy market. She fears that gas and electricity bills will become too high for citizens and businesses.
“We are now working on emergency intervention and structural reform of the electricity market,” von der Leyen said at a meeting in Slovenia on Monday. This is necessary now because “energy prices are going through the roof and exposing the limits of the current design of our energy market.”
The Commission and EU countries such as the Netherlands have long emphasized that the market does not need reform, even as the energy crisis worsens. Von der Leyen is now back at that.
The chairperson of the commission made it clear a few hours later on a visit to German Energy Minister Robert Habeck that she wanted, among other things, to cut the price of gas and electricity. She points out that the expensive gas price is now raising the price of electricity. “With such exorbitant prices we have to part.”
Von der Leyen says emergency measures can be taken within a few weeks. The market will be redesigned more comprehensively early next year.
More EU countries are calling for action
The call to combat rising bills, for example, by setting cap prices, is being heard by an increasing number of member states. Southern EU countries, which have been asking for this for some time, are getting more and more support.
Heavyweight Germany, too, looks more benevolent. Chancellor Olaf Schultz admits that there is no longer a normal interaction between supply and demand.
The energy ministers of the European Union met to discuss what to do next Friday. Some member states have already announced price caps or have intervened in other ways. But they would prefer to do it with the whole of the European Union, because they constitute a common energy market.
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