- Composition of the Study Group
- Administrator: Ágota BAZSIK, Assistant: Dániel MAKAY
- Foreseen for TEN Section meeting: 2 February 2022
- Foreseen for EESC Plenary meeting: 23-24 February 2022
Gist of the Commission document
The European Union is currently facing a sharp spike in energy prices, which is principally driven by increased global demand for energy at large and gas in particular, linked to the recovery. While energy price fluctuations have occurred in the past, today the EU emerges from the COVID-19 crisis. European households and companies;face the prospect of higher energy bills at a time when many have been fragilised by loss of income from the pandemic. This can weigh on the recovery and its fairness and inclusiveness. It also risks undermining confidence and support in the energy transition required not just to avert disastrous climate change but also to reduce the EU vulnerability to fossil fuel price volatility.
The European Commission has prepared this communication to enact and support appropriate measures to mitigate the impact of temporary energy price rises. The present toolbox allows a co-ordinated approach to protect those most at risk. It is carefully calibrated to meet the goal of addressing the negative effects of sudden price hikes and ensure affordability without fragmenting the European single energy market or jeopardizing investments in the energy sector and the green transition.
While energy supply is not at immediate risk and the markets currently expect wholesale gas prices to stabilise at a lower level by April 2022, security of supply, gas storage levels and the proper functioning of the gas market need a particular monitoring ahead of the winter season. In addition to short term measures, this Communication provides an outlook onto coordinated measures the Commission considers to take over the medium-term to ensure a better preparedness to gas price fluctuations while reducing the EU’s dependence on fossil fuels.