Greece, France and 3 other EU partners call for a common approach to tackle energy prices
The finance ministers of Spain, France, the Czech Republic, Greece and Romania have proposed a common approach at European level in a joint declaration on energy market prices.
the Second Vice-President and Spanish Minister of Economy and Digitization Nadia Calviño; Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery Bruno Le Maire; Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic Alena Schillerová; Greek Minister of Finance Christos Staikouras; and, Romanian Finance Minister Dan Vîlceanu, in their joint statement, underlined that gas prices and wholesale electricity prices have increased considerably and constitute a significant and growing burden for households and businesses, with a particularly strong impact on the most vulnerable citizens as well as on small and medium-sized enterprises.
Therefore, they proposed the following approach, based on 5 pillars:
First of all, a common approach at European level is necessary. We need a European political toolkit to coordinate national responses in order to react immediately to dramatic price spikes.
Second, concerning gas, the functioning of the European gas market should be studied to understand why the current gas contracts have been insufficient. We also need to develop common guidelines on gas storage in order to mitigate and smooth price increases. In addition, we should better coordinate our gas purchases to increase our bargaining power.
Third, we need to reform the wholesale electricity market. The electricity market has many advantages: it secures the energy supply at all times, for all European countries. But it must be improved to better establish a link between the price paid by consumers and the average cost of electricity production in national production mixes. This is all the more important as decarbonization will increase the use of electricity in our economy.
Fourth, we must concentrate on achieving energy independence by investing in the diversification of our energy supply and reducing European dependence on gas-exporting countries as quickly as possible. Low-carbon energies, such as biomass, wind and solar, will play a key role in the diversification of our energy supply.
Fifth, ETS is essential to give an explicit price to carbon and trigger the energy transition.
Therefore, to give public and private actors the opportunity to anticipate and redirect their investments towards low-carbon activities, we must ensure a more predictable carbon price and avoid excessive volatility.
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