At the meeting, representatives of the governments will try to find a common course of action against record high energy prices related to restrictions on Russian gas supplies.
“We are confronted with astronomical energy prices for households and companies and enormous market fluctuations. Therefore, we will present a series of immediate measures to protect vulnerable consumers and businesses and help them to adapt,” said the head of the EU executive.
The Czechia will want to remove the possible capping of gas prices from Russia from Friday’s EU Council, said Síkela
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EU officials expect that the proposal to introduce a maximum price for Russian gas will cause the most discussion among member states.
According to von der Leyen, it currently accounts for only nine percent of all gas imports into the EU instead of last year’s 41 percent.
However, Central European countries in particular continue to depend on it and are afraid of the complete closing of the taps, which Moscow threatens in the event of the introduction of a price ceiling.
Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela said on Wednesday that the Czech Presidency will want to remove this proposal from the ministerial meeting.
Another part of the proposal is the establishment of a maximum price for the production of electricity from cheaper sources than gas. According to the Financial Times, the so far non-public part of the proposal should include a ceiling of 200 euros (4,900 CZK) per megawatt hour. The current daily price of electricity in Germany is more than double.
‘Switch to night traffic’
“It is time for consumers to benefit from the low cost of low-carbon energy sources such as renewables,” von der Leyen said.
The government wants to trade energy through the state-owned company Prisko. He is to buy power at a discounted price
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In addition to solar or wind energy, the reduction of profits will also apply to nuclear or coal-fired power plants. However, the Commission also expects that EU countries will also collect so-called solidarity contributions from fossil fuel producers.
Brussels will also propose restrictions on electricity consumption, similar to what happened in July with gas. For electricity, it should refer to the hours when consumption and price are highest.
For example, according to the head of the commission, some automated businesses could switch from daytime to night or weekend operation.
At the same time, the Commission is ready to adjust the rules for state aid to companies, so that member countries can provide energy companies with guarantees to obtain liquidity. They need this because of deposits for long-term contracts for the sale of energy, the insufficient supply of which also contributes to rising prices.
Union ministers will receive the commission’s proposal on Friday, together with the Czech presidency’s initiatives, which will be debated by member countries’ ambassadors on Wednesday.
Diplomats expect that the debate could yield tentative support for several measures, the details of which the commission is set to present next week.
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