A pan-European energy solution? Countries are adopting a different approach, even in the Czech Republic Plan B is already being born

The search for a common solution at the European level is complicated by the different situations and views of the member countries. Several states, the European Commission, its head Ursula Von der Leyen or, conversely, Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela (STAN) offer solutions according to their “recipe”. In the meantime, not only abroad, but also in the Czech Republic, a version of the “national” plan was created to bring energy prices down. He is counting on the option that there will be no agreement at the EU level this week.

After the demonstration of tens of thousands of people on Wenceslas Square in Prague, a week is coming which is supposed to be crucial for solving the energy crisis. On Friday, Minister Síkela convened an extraordinary European energy council to find a common solution to the energy crisis at the European level. But as it turns out a week before the meeting, there is still not much to talk about agreement.

In the past week alone, several new options for proceeding in the EU-wide implementation have appeared. In addition to this, there remain the “recipes” of states that have already taken steps to regulate energy prices or compensation in a certain way (we wrote more about this here). And the fact that a similar national proposal from government circles also appeared in the Czech Republic at the end of last week underlines the uncertainty about the outcome of the meeting of the Union ministers.

Justice Minister Pavel Blažek (ODS) submitted a proposal to Prime Minister Petar Fial (ODS) on Friday, according to which the Czechia should limit the margins of energy sellers and distributors to an acceptable level, at which they would still earn, but at the same time high gas and electricity prices would not have a dramatic impact on consumers.

“The goal of the proposal is to limit margins so that energy producers and distributors do not lose their entrepreneurial motivation, while energy prices do not ruin entrepreneurs and the population. And that it is a legal solution according to Czech and European law. Legitimate claims for compensation for damages (lost profit and the like) should not arise and the state should not have to endlessly increase subsidies and similar financially demanding policies,” Minister Blažek told Echo24.

The European Commission should arrive at a concrete proposal for a joint solution by September 14, when President Von der Leyen should present it. On Friday, she said that the price of gas flowing through pipelines from Russia to the EU needs to be capped. However, in the meantime, a document with an initial assessment of the possibilities of how to solve the situation was also leaked from the workshop of the European Commission.

On the contrary, he talks about a price ceiling for electricity producers who do not use gas. The price cap would help raise revenue that governments could use to lower energy bills for consumers and should be introduced at the same time as cuts in electricity consumption across the EU, according to a leaked European Commission document seen by Reuters.

On the contrary, the document rejects the market shutdown, the price ceiling for all producers, the Spanish model, the Greek proposal, regulation of the market with allowances and forced regulation of prices to end customers. And this system would not be compatible with the current policy of some countries, i.e. above all with the taxation of unexpected profits of some energy companies, the states would have to retreat from these steps. For example, Italy introduced a windfall tax.

In Spain, a measure that separates the prices of electricity produced from gas from electricity produced from other sources has proven successful. At the European level, Industry Minister Jozef Síkela also wanted to propose similar measures during the Czech EU presidency. According to leaked documents, the European Commission’s proposal does not include it.

Energy prices have had a relatively turbulent week on stock exchanges in the Czech Republic and abroad, when previously unimaginable levels exceeding 1,000 euros per megawatt hour fell, only for prices to go down just as quickly. However, the situation remains unpredictable and Russia has complicated the situation again when it announced an indefinite extension of the initially three-day shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. They have technical difficulties behind it, but these are disputed by experts. The uncertainty surrounding supplies from Russia continues to raise concerns about gas shortages in Europe in the winter months.

The article is in Czech

Tags: #panEuropean energy solution Countries #adopting #approach Czech Republic Plan born

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