Energy crisis: Federal government still sees a lot of work on the EU gas price cap

The federal government still sees a lot of work before the EU can agree on a European gas price cap.

Energy crisis: Federal government still sees a lot of work on the EU gas price cap

The federal government still sees a lot of work before the EU can agree on a European gas price cap. "In summary, one can say that everyone is somehow unhappy with the Commission's proposal," said State Secretary Sven Giegold on the sidelines of a meeting of EU energy ministers in Brussels on Thursday. There are different views among Member States. In his own words, Czech Industry Minister Jozef Sikela, who is leading the talks, expects "sharp discussions".

The EU Commission had proposed capping the price of gas sold on the TTF trading platform under certain circumstances. That would affect major customers who trade there.

More than half of the EU countries are in favor of such a cap. However, countries such as Italy, France, Belgium, Malta, Spain and Poland do not find the proposal sufficient. "For us, this is a joke after so many weeks of discussions and proposals," said Polish Environment Minister Anna Moskwa. Spanish Minister for Green Transition Teresa Ribera said the proposal fell short of what EU states had called for. "It seems to have been designed to guarantee that it will never be used."

Addressing the causes of high prices

Germany is fundamentally critical of a fixed cap. "For us it is important that the markets do not get confused, but that we instead tackle the causes of the high prices," said Giegold. This is due to the dependency on Russian gas, the shortage of gas and high consumption. Dutch Energy Minister Rob Jetten made a similar statement. "There is a high risk that the security of energy supply and also the stability of the financial market will be affected."

Luxembourg Minister Claude Turmes urged calm: "Let's keep cool," he said. "We have a month to get this cow off the ice." He was referring to the next meeting of energy ministers in December.

Ministers will also discuss measures to jointly buy gas and speed up approvals for solar and other renewable energy on Thursday. Sikela is hoping for an agreement here - it was unclear in the morning whether this would succeed. Countries like Spain, Italy and Poland insist that the laws should only be passed together with the controversial gas price cap.

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