The countries of the Western Balkans will be able to join the European Union’s platform for voluntary joint procurement of gas and hydrogen, it was concluded at the session of the European Council. Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, countries that are also not members of the EU, can also join this mechanism.
Consumers are coming together to get a better price from producers. The decision on the joint purchase of energy was made by the leaders of the European Union due to the energy crisis, in order to somewhat curb the price of gas and reduce the dependence on the supply of this energy from Russia, European officials stated.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, estimated that the agreement on voluntary joint purchase of gas and hydrogen will enable the use of the power of collective bargaining, and added that instead of mutual competition, which raises prices, they will offer unique offers.
“The main reason for high electricity prices is the high price of gas. The energy mix in European countries is different, but we need a common European approach. The European market makes up as much as 75 percent of the global gas market and that is why we have enormous purchasing power. That is why we will use the common position in the negotiations, instead of competing with each other and raising prices “, said Von der Leyen.
Dealing with high oil prices
At a European Council meeting on March 24th and 25th, participants focused on high prices for oil, gas and other energy sources. The possibility of suspending the import of Russian gas and oil was considered.
EU leaders agreed that filling the warehouse with gas should start as soon as possible, while Russia announces that it will charge for natural gas in rubles from March 31.
EU sanctions against Russia include a ban on exports of goods to the country as well as technology in the oil refining sector, as well as a ban on new investments in the country’s energy sector.
The European Commission should present a comprehensive and ambitious plan for responding to the energy crisis by the end of May this year, which would take into account the specific circumstances in the member states and their energy mixes, it was concluded at the meeting in Brussels.
It was also stated that high energy prices have an increasingly negative impact on citizens and companies in European Union countries.
Conclusions and guidelines on energy supply
Ahead of next winter, member states will work urgently with the European Commission on voluntary joint purchases of gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen, it was announced.
The leaders stressed that a common platform for those procurements would be open to the Western Balkan countries and three associated eastern partners: Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia.
The European Union will continue to coordinate with international partners in order to mitigate the increase in energy prices, the European Commission announced.
It was also pointed out that the necessary mechanisms of solidarity and compensation will be established, as well as the interconnections in the EU will be completed and improved.
The Commission also stated that energy security and climate neutrality can only be achieved if the European Union relies on a strong and integrated internal electricity market, as well as the CO2 market, concluding that it works well.
The leaders called on the European Commission to submit proposals to curb high electricity prices, preserve the integrity of the single market and security of supply, ensure gas storage and maintain incentives for a green transition.