Brussels will present a new package of measures to intervene in the energy market “next week”.

The European Commission will present next Tuesday, October 18, a new package of measures to intervene in the energy market and contain price rises, as well as to incentivize demand reduction and facilitate joint gas purchases, thus responding to the request of EU leaders who last week demanded “clear” legislative proposals from Brussels.

“We must keep in mind that we must act together and based on a broad consensus,” Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson told reporters upon arrival at an informal meeting of EU energy ministers in Prague where countries are expected to define more clearly the measures they expect and are willing to accept.

Later, at the end of the meeting, the commissioner advanced that the proposal will include a “temporary mechanism to limit the prices” of gas, whose operation details are yet to be detailed and also the “how to mitigate the risks that it will inevitably bring”.

The package will also address the urgency of having an alternative gas price index to the current benchmark, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF), because this “is no longer representative” of the energy market and “artificially” increases prices.

In the discussion with the ministers, the commissioner gave a “general presentation” to of the progress in the work of the Community services to present proposals in four key areas for the bloc: incentivizing the reduction of energy demand, intervening in gas prices, ensuring solidarity between Member States and facilitating joint gas purchases from next year.

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These axes, already pointed out by the head of the Community Executive, Ursula von der Leyen, in a letter to EU leaders last week, is “broadly aligned” with the Spanish position, as said from Prague the third vice-president of the Government, Teresa Ribera.

However, in the eyes of Spain, it is still necessary “a much clearer reference and adjusted to reality” to be able to respond at source to the crisis, said the vice-president responsible for Ecological Transition.

The Minister of Industry and Trade of Prague, Jozef Síkela, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU, has stressed on his arrival at the meeting to Twenty-seven the urgency of acting “fast” at European level to “ensure sufficient supply of energy at affordable prices” for Member States this winter.

Although the vast majority of ministers have expressed their support for Brussels in the search for solutions, with nuances on timing, only the Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister, Peter Szijjarto, has been skeptical and asked that there be no proposals that could jeopardize a member state’s supply, in reference to how the price cap on gas purchases could affect Hungary.

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“We hope that the Commission will not make any proposal or the Council will not accept any proposal that would put energy security at risk in any member state,” Szijjarto has told the press, before warning that his country will not accept measures that limit the price of gas because Russia has warned that if they occur it will cut off the flow.

After Wednesday’s meeting in Prague at which ministers are set to make their positions clear to Brussels, the heads of state and government will take up the energy issue at their formal summit next week in Brussels to try to resolve the last stumbling blocks and let ministers wrap up the technical work between their next meeting on October 25 and a likely second extraordinary meeting in early November.

The Swedish minister, Khashayar Farmanbar, for his part, has considered that many of the proposals that the Community Executive has already advanced that it will put on the table are “very good”, for example “the suggestion of Spain and Portugal” to decouple the price of electricity from gas. In any case, he said, the intervention of the market should be “limited” and should not hinder the production of energies that the EU still needs.

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