Energy tops agenda at Prague EU summit – Xinhua English.news.cn
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (R) arrives for the inaugural meeting of the European Political Community (EPC) in Prague, Czech Republic, on October 6, 2022. (Photo by Dana Kesnerova/Xinhua)
“The energy crisis is serious and has entered a new phase. Only a common European response can reduce energy costs for families and businesses and ensure energy security for this winter and those to come”, said the President of the Commission. European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in a letter to Member States ahead of an informal EU summit.
PRAGUE, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) — Leaders of European Union (EU) member states gathered in PRAGUE on Friday for an informal summit to discuss energy, the economic situation and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
“We are once again at a critical moment,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a letter to member states ahead of the summit. “The energy crisis is serious and has entered a new phase. Only a common European response can reduce energy costs for families and businesses and ensure energy security for this winter and those to come.”
She recommended intensifying negotiations with suppliers to reduce the prices of imported gas of all kinds, developing an intervention to limit prices in the natural gas market and limiting the inflationary impact of gas on electricity.
“We are ready to discuss the introduction of a temporary cap on the price of gas used to generate electricity,” she said.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola called for European unity in response to the energy crisis.
“We need a strong signal of unity. This is why the European Parliament has called for an EU-wide gas price cap,” she said. “We need better and more regular cooperation between states on long-term gas prices. By spring, our gas storages will have to be filled, and we must be in a situation where we can buy gas. gas at a reasonable price from reliable partners.”
Wind turbines are pictured in Brandenburg, Germany, Sept. 15, 2022. (Xinhua/Ren Pengfei)
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, whose country currently holds the rotating EU Council presidency, said on Thursday the EU cannot be expected to agree on a gas price cap at the Prague summit or its regular October summit in Brussels as “the problem is complex and will take a long time.”
Fiala, who criticized the German proposal for state support, stressed that finding a common European solution seemed to him preferable to seeking national solutions, the Czech News Agency reported.
The German government plans to spend 200 billion euros ($196 billion) to mitigate the impact of high energy prices, which the leaders of some other European countries “strongly criticized in Prague”, it said. he brings back.
“I repeatedly say on behalf of the Czech Republic that if we only have national solutions, we will be at a disadvantage compared to certain countries like Germany, and we should not allow that,” Fiala said.
In addition, EU leaders will consider ways to protect critical infrastructure in their countries. Several leaks have recently been detected on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea near Denmark and Sweden, an incident being investigated as probable sabotage.
The leaders were also discussing the overall economic situation. Inflation in the euro zone rose by 10% in September, a new record since the launch of the single currency in 1999.
Fuel prices are displayed at a gas station in Paris, France, March 16, 2022. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)■