With gas prices surging, and concerns over the impact on consumers and businesses, MEPs, the Council and the Commission debated how to address the crisis.
Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said the EU should react in a quick and coordinated manner, and highlighted the measures already at the disposal of member states to help vulnerable households and SMEs. The European Commission will also propose, before the end of the year, to reform the gas market to make it more resilient to price hikes.
During the debate in plenary, MEPs called for an investigation into market manipulation from state and non-state actors, and into the EU carbon market speculation in order to measure the impact that both of these factors are having on prices. Many insisted on the need for immediate measures to protect the most vulnerable from rising bills.
Several MEPs called for gas storage capacity to be boosted, and for common gas purchase programmes to be set up - replicating the model used for vaccines - and for the Green Deal to be used as an opportunity to improve energy security and independence. Other MEPs said that the crisis is the result of a market-based approach to energy and the action of market speculators, and called for energy prices to be capped.