EU countries should use their “collective bargaining power” to secure affordable gas supplies before next winter, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said today.
Speaking after an informal summit in Prague, where EU leaders discussed measures to tackle the energy supply crisis, von der Leyen said he was d critically important to avoid a scenario in which EU countries compete for gas supplies and drive up prices on the international market. gas market.
EU-wide gas storage is now at 90%, but there are growing fears that the continent may not reach similar levels before winter 2023.
“There is widespread support that next spring, at the end of winter when our storages are exhausted, it is of paramount importance that we have a joint supply of gas in order to avoid [outbidding] each other [and] have collective bargaining power,” von der Leyen said.
Speaking at the same press conference, European Council President Charles Michel said the bloc should “organise public purchases of energy supplies” ahead of the summer storage season.
“We came back to the topic today and there is growing support for this idea,” Michel said.
Von der Leyen added that the Commission would present more detailed proposals for energy market interventions to protect consumers and businesses – including some form of gas market price caps – ahead of the Council summit. European on 21 and 22 October.