The EU must step up its efforts to combat fuel poverty which affects a growing number of EU citizens, according to Staffan Nilsson, president of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). He also attributed energy price rises to incomplete internal market integration.
His call came at Tuesday's conference organised by the EESC and ELISAN, the European Local Inclusion and Social Action Network.
Mr Nilsson said that no country in the EU had been spared rising energy prices. In Latvia, for example, costs had increased by 27% in February 2011, while in France 42% of households had cut back on heating their homes to save on energy bills last year. In Germany prices were expected to go up by 10 to 15% again this year.