According to Mr. Croo, European countries need to avoid competition for bilateral gas contracts. Instead, the EU needs to sign joint purchase contracts with major suppliers, otherwise the regional economy is vulnerable to high fuel prices.
The Belgian Prime Minister said that the EU needs to apply the achievements of the strategy of buying a common vaccine against COVID-19 in its unified coordination efforts to ensure access to a large gas supply as the region tries to control the momentum of the EU. energy prices and gradually reducing dependence on gas and oil supplies from Russia.
Given that the EU’s energy market has recently failed and spiraled out of control, Mr. Croo proposed the idea of imposing a ceiling on gas prices. The aim is to avoid the trend of racing, to seize this energy source at all costs, to find a solidarity mechanism to ensure that at any time of the year the countries in the bloc have enough gas needed. .
According to the Belgian prime minister, it is normal for countries to race to find bilateral energy contracts at this time from the perspective of each country. But there would be a better way to do it as a whole block. He recalled the situation the EU faced with COVID-19 in the early stages of the outbreak. At that time, some member countries sought to negotiate separately and sign supply contracts with manufacturers. But then the European Commission (EC) began to intervene and announced the implementation of pre-procurement under a solidarity mechanism, in the form of a joint purchase.
Energy emerged as a difficult problem for the EU after Russia launched a military intervention in Ukraine. The EC urged member states to cut gas imports from Russia by two-thirds by the end of the year. The Belgian Prime Minister’s proposal is also in line with the draft energy policy for the EU being developed by the EC. “The EU is stronger when we act together. The whole bloc needs to act in coordination to master market power in negotiations with suppliers,” the draft stated.
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