Brussels aims to coordinate gas purchases in bid to lower costs
Brussels aims to coordinate gas purchases in a bid to lower costs: “We are proposing common gas procurements and stricter rules for storage because instead of outbidding each other and driving prices up, we should pull out the common weight and start buying gas together as Europeans, not individual member states,” Ursula von der Leyen said European Commission president.
Brussels also says that it must have enough gas reserves for the next two years. There are currently 160 storage facilities in the EU that are around 26% full.
Some of them belong to Russia’s Gazprom which have lagged below overall EU levels in recent months.
Now, the European Commission is suggesting that the Russian company could be expelled from the European market if it does not comply, as Simone Tagliapietra from Bruegel explains.
“There will be several actions undertaken in the case they don’t do that,” Tagliapietra told Euronews. “I think there are legal ways, not necessarily nationalization, that can be utilized to push these companies to fill up these storages.”
For now, the European Commission is reluctant to introduce measures to regulate the markets, as many members states have requested. It argues that introducing a cap on prices for electricity or decoupling the price of energy from gas seems a good idea in the short-term, but could generate serious risks.
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