Draft: EU Commission wants gas price cap for emergencies

The European Commission is keeping the door open to an EU-wide gas price cap in emergencies.

Draft: EU Commission wants gas price cap for emergencies

The European Commission is keeping the door open to an EU-wide gas price cap in emergencies. A draft for measures against the high energy prices states: In the case of extreme gas prices, the authority should be able to propose a "maximum dynamic maximum price" for gas at the European wholesale center TTF. The paper is available from the German Press Agency.

Other trading places in the EU would then be linked to the price of the TTF via “dynamic price corridors”, it is said. Many EU countries have been insisting on a gas price cap in the EU for months. Countries like Germany and the Netherlands, on the other hand, fear problems with security of supply.

Final decision could be made in November

The Commission wants to present its final energy proposal tomorrow. The EU countries will then have to negotiate on this. It could then be accepted in November. The question of a price cap for gas should also be an issue at the EU summit of heads of state and government at the end of the week.

The proposals also include a new price index for liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an alternative to the TTF gas price index. Many sales contracts in the EU are based on the TTF, which fluctuates greatly. Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) recently said that such a reform would have a significantly lower price effect. While this is being worked on, the floating price cap on the TTF could be used as a last resort for a limited time, the draft suggests.

The draft also sets rules for joint gas purchases in the EU - the federal government supports this. The aim is for the EU to be able to negotiate lower prices through its concentrated market power. According to the draft, gas companies will have to pool some of their demand. This should apply to at least 15 percent of the prescribed storage levels. This amount would then be negotiated centrally with gas suppliers. According to the draft, however, it is up to the gas companies whether they ultimately buy the gas in this way.

CSU and Greens welcome proposal

"A proposal for joint procurement should have been made months ago," commented MEP Markus Ferber (CSU). "By buying gas together, we can lower the price," said Green MP Michael Bloss. Bloss also welcomed the dynamic "price corridor", as it is much more flexible than with a fixed gas price cap.

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