Energy prices for both households and businesses have been rising for several years in Europe, with considerable differences between Member States. This rise in energy prices, which has long been considered as an inevitable consequence of EU climate and energy objectives, is now seen as a major obstacle to industrial competitiveness and as an EU failure in responding to citizens' expectations.
The European Commission released a report on energy prices and costs at the beginning of this year, suggesting ways to cut down costs for consumers and keep EU businesses competitive in the global markets. The EESC, for its part, is currently drawing up an opinion on the Commission's communication, to be adopted on 4 June.
The conference on "Mitigating the increase in energy prices: coordination, Europeanisation, involvement" will look at economic and industrial consequences of high energy prices and at the social and environmental challenges, and will suggest ways forward. All key civil society actors are invited to discuss these issues and outline pragmatic and coordinated solutions. An ambitious and coordinated approach at EU level could offer a number of advantages in terms of reduced cost for society and improved effectiveness and resilience of the energy system. Similarly, the EESC is convinced that a European dialogue on energy is an essential tool for achieving EU energy policy goals.