The European Union has agreed on a new version of the anti-crisis plan aimed at reducing the consequences of a shortage of energy sources in the union's territory. During the talks, representatives of European countries abandoned the idea of introducing a ceiling on prices for gas and other energy carriers. This is reported by Bloomberg with reference to the new version of the document, which continues to be discussed by the EU delegates.
The European Union abandoned the idea of a gas price ceiling due to criticism of this idea by a number of countries and fears that the introduction of a price ceiling would lead to a shortage of gas in the European market. Instead, country representatives decided to focus on energy market integration measures as well as national support measures. Moreover, the main bet is on a new indicator, which will have to push the current benchmark. This is TTF - a mechanism for transferring ownership of gas at the Dutch hub.
Now the EU wants to launch its own exchange trading in liquefied natural gas (LNG), since after a sharp reduction in gas supplies from Russia, LNG supplies have become the main source of fuel in Europe. The European Commission also proposes to retain the ability to impose restrictions during trading in order to stop speculation. True, this will require the consent of all EU countries, and the proposed measure will be introduced temporarily for the most critical period.
“The current situation is causing economic and social difficulties, placing a heavy burden on citizens and the economy. The increase in the cost of energy leads to a decrease in the purchasing power of citizens and the loss of competitiveness of companies,” the document says.
Particular attention is also planned to be paid to the creation of a single gas market and the redistribution of capacities in the event of depletion of underground storage facilities in some countries during the heating season. In the event that storage facilities are depleted to the level of 15%, the European Commission will have the right to oblige countries to jointly purchase gas in order to avoid artificial price gouging and competition between EU members for gas. The countries also commit to reduce gas consumption and implement national measures to support businesses and households. The final version of the document will be presented during the EU summit on October 20-21 in Brussels.
The European authorities also recognize that the main difficulties will no longer be associated with the current, but with the next heating season, so the current measures should lay the foundation for future crises, if any. As early as Monday, October 17, the delegates were discussing the introduction of various mechanisms for limiting gas prices. In particular, it was proposed to establish an exchange price growth ceiling, according to which the price could not rise by more than 5% during one trading session.