November 28, 2022

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The European Union concludes an agreement on measures to reduce energy bills: “a big step has been taken” |  Abroad

The European Union concludes an agreement on measures to reduce energy bills: “a big step has been taken” | Abroad

Households and small and medium-sized businesses are one step closer to a solution to their exorbitant energy bills: The 27 EU member states have agreed to carve out some surplus energy sector profits, which will save 140 billion euros in aid, according to the commission. President Ursula von der Leyen.

This amount, which some suspect will be this high, will not go entirely to households and small and medium businesses. Member states can also use part of it to save energy or to support the transition to sustainable energy. “Europe does the job today,” said Czech Council President Josef Sekila, after hours of deliberations by energy ministers.

In addition to eliminating some of the surplus profits of both the energy, gas and oil companies, the ministers also approved plans to provide 10 per cent of electricity next winter and make 5 per cent mandatory during exorbitant peak hours. This means that a lot of gas can be saved because it is precisely during peak hours that the gas is used to generate power quickly.

Democracy has a price

According to Sekila, quick decisions by the council (member states) were urgently needed: we are in an energy war with Russia and winter is coming. Russia wants to sow social unrest among our peoples and we have to do everything in our power to prevent it.” But all this does not come from above, because he also said: “I am counting on our peoples to realize that democracy has a price.” He added that making such kinds of tough decisions It usually takes months, a little over two weeks.

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Moreover, according to Sekila, the work of the ministers does not stop there. “We expect the commission to make further proposals soon, in particular on how to lower the price of gas.” But this still requires some serious fighting, because at the moment Brussels is completely at odds with the roughly qualified majority of the 15 member states who want a price cap on all imported gas. The Commission wants it only for Russian gas.

In addition, since yesterday, the Commission has been studying a cap on the price of gas used for power generation. “This can help keep the price of electricity low,” Sekila said, who also believes it is urgently necessary for member states to quickly decide to buy or jointly buy gas. Now each country does it separately, and with this mutual competition they raise prices significantly.


Watch our videos about rising gas prices here: