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S&Ds: Reducing energy dependency and volatility of prices is paramount before the end of the winter


03 Feb 2022



The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament want effective measures at an EU level to significantly reduce high energy prices. S&D MEPs exchanged views on the topic with the European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, who came to the committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE) for this purpose and also to present the new EU framework to decarbonise gas markets, promote hydrogen and reduce methane emissions, as well as the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

Mohammed Chahim MEP, S&D vice-president responsible for the energy aspects of the Green Deal, said:

“We are at the peak of the winter season and the burden of the electricity bills is already unbearable for many Europeans, especially for the most vulnerable, like elderly people and households with low incomes. We welcome the social measures taken by social-democratic governments in many member states. Yet, these governments and citizens cannot be left on their own. Between 2008 and 2020, electricity costs for households increased by 30%, compared to an increase of 10% for industry, according to sources like BEUC. These numbers are stunning!

“The European Commission owes answers to both EU citizens and small and medium businesses and we, the Socialists and Democrats, are standing firmly behind their interests. Obviously a strategy is needed that goes beyond what the Commission has put on the table. And we need it now!”

Dan Nica MEP, S&D spokesperson in the European Parliament’s committee on industry, research and energy, said:

“We, the Socialists and Democrats, call on the European Commission and Commissioner Simson for strong leadership in drafting a bold strategy targeted at ordinary people and aiming at reducing the burden they bear with high bills for electricity and gas. In many member states many enterprises had to close the doors of their business due to the high bills for electricity and gas. The impact on small and medium-sized enterprises was particularly hard. This used to be unheard of in the European Union! Measures taken by national governments ranging from cutting taxes on energy to giving subsidies to low-income households are welcome, but data shows they can cover at maximum a quarter of the 54% increase in energy bills that happened in 2020.

“We have to remember that the energy crisis started with the price hike of fossil fuels. Allegations on possible market manipulation practices from countries supplying energy raw materials are very worrying. We need a clear position from the European Commission on this matter - is it true or not? Our group made it perfectly clear to Commissioner Simson what our position is: energy dependency and volatility of prices have to be avoided and the way out of the current situation is by giving up on fossil fuels and creating an efficient and sustainable renewable energy system.”

The exchange of views with Commissioner Simson comes at the request of the Socialists and Democrats in the ITRE committee in the context of a question the S&D Group is planning to table for the plenary of the European Parliament. The aim of the Socialists and Democrats with this question is to debate the issue of high energy prices among all Members of the European Parliament in plenary.


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