Members of the European Parliament on Tuesday demanded immediate concrete action to protect households, companies, and the vulnerable population against the alarming energy crisis affecting all of Europe.
During the debate held to discuss the EU’s response to the sharp rise in energy prices, European Council President Bek Mikulas affirmed that “further implementable mitigating measures are needed.”
He noted the price rise triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the indefinite suspension of NordStream 1 gas pipeline, saying it was directly affecting all households and companies, and threatening the whole EU economy.
Mikulas also said several solutions that have been proposed and implemented in the last few months, including the emergency plan for filling gas reserves at 80% by Nov. 1 and EU-wide gas consumption reduction measures, are not sufficient to address the ongoing crisis.
Another discussion will be held on Sept. 30 with energy ministers to implore additional emergency energy packages and measures proposed by the EU Commission, he said.
Kadri Simson, EU commissioner for energy, said there was “no magic wand to bring back prices to pre-war levels but with the targeted emergency package we can ease pressure on prices and help citizens.”
She added that a new proposal on renewables and energy efficiency directives will be placed in the parliament on Wednesday to tackle the energy situation.
Among the measures proposed are assessing electricity demand in a smart way, mandatory target for member states to reduce electricity demand in peak hours, gas consumption, and correction to the market rules to address the issues of companies producing electricity at a lower price through renewables but not passing the price benefit to consumers, proposing EU-wide limit to the remuneration from low carbon technologies, and “solidarity contribution” from the oil, gas and coal companies that are making huge unexpected profits.
Most lawmakers lauded the EU’s efforts to diversify energy supplies and achieve energy independence from Russia. However, they stressed the plight of common people who are concerned about heating in the winter months.
Agnes Jongerius, European Parliament member from the Netherlands said, “warming your home is not a luxury” and hundreds of thousands of people are facing energy poverty due to high energy bills.
“We need to take control of the energy market and set limits for regular households,” she added.