EU leaders, disunited by conflicting interests, have hesitated to take any decisive energy crisis action at a summit of the 27 member states in Brussels, whose agenda includes the energy crisis. The leaders have opted to defer the issue until October 26, when EU energy ministers are scheduled to meet.
The EU’s member states of the south, short on storage infrastructure for green energy, are pressing for solutions to the energy crisis, while Europe’s north, better equipped to weather the storm, sees no real need for urgent action, despite the exorbitant energy price levels.
Industrial producers in the south, consequently disadvantaged and under greater pressure, are calling for intervention.
Russian president Vladimir Putin, pressuring for EU approval of the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline running to Germany via the North Sea, yesterday informed that gas supply to Europe could only be increased via this new pipeline route. Russia’s reduced supply is a key factor of the current energy crisis.
In Greece, the only possible solution for the short term would entail reducing fuel taxes, an option the government may adopt to soften the effects of the energy crisis, which, if left unattended, will lead to political repercussions.
As for longer term solutions, EU member states could agree, at the upcoming meeting of energy ministers, on the prospect of placing joint natural gas orders as protection against future crises. This would send a signal to markets that Europe possesses the political will to stand up to crisis situations, which could prompt some degree of price de-escalation.