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EU joint gas purchases means cheaper gas, and we made it possible, say S&Ds

Date

23 Jun 2022

Sections

Energy

The Socialists and Democrats welcome the new Gas Storage Regulation. They believe their ideas taken on board in this legislation will make sure energy supply for EU citizens and businesses is not interrupted during next winter’s season. The joint purchases of gas from third countries is a great achievement for the S&D Group. This means that from now, it will be possible at an EU level to negotiate together the prices of gas supplies from other parts of the world. According to the S&D Group, this voluntary mechanism for joint purchases is better than the current situation where every member state negotiates on world markets individually. As a result of the new approach, the EU will be in a much better and stronger position in negotiations.

Transparency is a key element for the Socialists and Democrats. S&Ds will continue to insist on information about how prices are negotiated as, according to the group, this is particularly important when it comes to bilateral contracts between gas producers from outside the EU and consuming countries, as well as on the spot markets. 

Following its adoption in plenary today by the European Parliament, the regulation must also be adopted by the member states in the Council of the European Union.

Patrizia Toia, S&D negotiator on the Gas Storage Regulation in the European Parliament, said:

“In times of extreme volatility of energy resource prices, our group finds it crucial that the EU has as good a negotiating position with third countries as it can. Practice has shown that often trade partners put pressure on individual member states and thus make many European governments buy gas at high prices. This is bad for our economy, but it is especially burdening for households with a lower income and small and medium enterprises. Last winter’s season proved this when high electricity and heating bills hit Europeans hard throughout our Union.”

Dan Nica, S&D spokesperson in the EP committee on industry, research and energy, said:

“Our group has long been calling for ambitious storage targets - we set an 80% filling target for 2022 and 90% for 2023 in the new legislation. We need this in order to avoid a repeat of the situation from last year, when the level of gas storage was alarmingly low by the beginning of autumn. This played a major negative role in pumping up the electricity bills of our citizens and businesses and we have to learn from this mistake. Price formation is also a very important point for us. Citizens and businesses cannot just receive bills. We all have the right to know about the mechanism behind a price formation, not just in bilateral contracts among gas producers from outside the EU and consuming countries, but also for purchases from the spot markets as a great share of gas from the EU’s consumption is bought there. For now, this mechanism is a black box and the S&D wants to put an end to this.”

 

 

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