In a joint statement on energy market prices, the finance ministers of Spain, France, the Czech Republic, Greece, and Romania advocated a common European approach.
Nadia Calvio, Spain’s Second Vice-President and Minister for Economy and Digitalization; Bruno Le Maire, France’s Minister for Economy, Finance and Recovery; Alena Schillerová, Czech Republic’s Minister of Finance; Christos Staikouras, Greece’s Finance Minister; and Dan Vîlceanu, Romania’s Finance Minister, all stressed in a joint statement that the price of gas and wholesale electricity prices have risen significantly.
The prices constitute an important and growing burden on households and businesses, with a particularly strong impact on most vulnerable citizens as well as on small and medium enterprises.
As a result, they developed the following strategy, which is built on five pillars:
First and foremost, a European-wide strategy is required. We require a European policy toolkit to coordinate national reactions in the event of price spikes.
Second, in the case of gas, the operation of the European gas market should be examined in order to determine whether current gas contracts are insufficient.
In order to limit and moderate price increases, we need also to develop universal guidelines on gas storage.
Furthermore, in order to improve our bargaining power, we should better coordinate our gas purchases.
Third, the wholesale electricity market must be reformed. The electrical market has numerous advantages: it ensures that all European countries have access to energy at all times. However, it must be enhanced in order to better establish a link between the price paid by consumers and the average power production cost in national production mixes.
This is especially crucial because decarbonisation will increase our economy’s reliance on power.
Fourth, we should work toward energy independence by diversifying our energy source and reducing Europe’s reliance on gas exporting countries as quickly as feasible.
Low-carbon energy sources, such as biomass, wind, and solar, will be critical in diversifying our energy supply.
Fifth, the ETS is necessary for putting a price on carbon and triggering an energy transition.
As a result, we must establish a more predictable carbon pricing and avoid excessive volatility to allow public and private stakeholders to plan ahead and move their investments to low-carbon activities.