EU 27 firmly divided on gas price cap, headed for summit

Any chance of a gas price cap agreement at today’s Energy Council, involving the bloc’s 27 energy ministers, appears to have already been written off judging by European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen’s comments yesterday, who noted a political solution will need to be sought at Thursday’s Summit of EU leaders.

Despite the ongoing energy crisis and need for solutions at a time when gas and electricity prices are once again rising, the EU appears more divided than ever on a gas price cap agreement. Proposal and counter-proposals have so far failed to lead towards compromise and a deal.

Greece and a further eleven EU member states are pushing for a gas price cap level of 160 euros per MWh, strongly opposed by six member states, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark and Estonia, a group supported on the issue by the European Central Bank. They contend a price cap would threaten market stability.

Germany appears willing to consider a higher gas price cap of 220 euros per MWh proposed by the Czech Republic, currently holding the EU’s rotating presidency.

The EU’s Committee of Permanent Representatives, tasked with agenda preparatory duties, failed to make any progress on the matter at a meeting yesterday following a previous failure on Saturday.