Brussels proposes gas price cap for extreme pricing situations

A price cap on gas, to serve as a market correction mechanism, will only be activated under certain combined conditions, according to a draft proposal sent by the European Commission to the EU’s 27 energy ministers.

A first round of negotiations took place yesterday between representatives of member-state delegations, ahead of an informal Council of energy ministers on November 24, when a first attempt will be made to reach an agreement on the price cap plan.

According to well-informed sources, Brussels’ draft proposal, seeking to reconcile two opposing EU blocs, one comprising Greece, Italy, Poland and Belgium, and the other, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Hungary, will not lead to consensus at next week’s Council of energy ministers and, as a result, will be referred to their ensuing meeting.

Brussels’ draft proposal is intended to act as an effective tool against excessive and extremely high gas prices. The plan is to trigger it into action only if prices reach extremely high levels (compared to international markets), the objective being to avoid significant disruptions in supply contracts, which could lead to serious risks concerning security of supply.