- aims to assess the impact of the energy crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's aggression against Ukraine on European businesses, their workers and Europeans in general. The Committee notes that wide-ranging problems have arisen throughout the economy. These include disproportionate increases in production costs, reorganisation of supply chains, difficulties in supplying food and other goods, increasing investment costs and loss of purchasing power for European households.
- considers that the energy crisis has impacted the economy in terms of high inflation, weak economic growth, strong pressure on public finances and the purchasing power of households and businesses, and loss of external economic competitiveness. Based on the ECB's recommendations, the EESC suggests establishing a "green triple T" criterion to ensure that future interventions are tailored, targeted and transition-proof. Non-selective price measures such as the price cap for certain foods would only prolong the period of high inflation over the long term.
- calls on governments to encourage businesses and households to implement energy-saving and -efficiency measures that will enable energy demand to be permanently reduced. It is time to make the necessary investment (and establish the required fiscal framework conditions) in Europe's energy transition to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Furthermore, the EESC is in favour of pressing forward with the changes proposed under REPowerEU to streamline and accelerate the granting of permits for installing renewable energy infrastructure. The Commission's long-term agenda should include revamping the energy market in order to avoid future disruption of energy supply and exorbitant prices.