The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament are not totally satisfied with the toolbox of measures presented by the European Commission today, aiming at mitigating the impact of high energy prices. These measures were much anticipated, especially by the most vulnerable citizens and small and medium enterprises. While there is a clear focus on energy poverty and on the social dimension in general, the S&D Group does not see how what was presented today can be achieved without stronger involvement from the Commission. According to the Socialists and Democrats, the proposal should go beyond analysis and recommendations, and propose clear and ambitious short and mid-term measures and instruments.
Mohammed Chahim MEP, S&D vice-president responsible for the energy aspects of the Green Deal, said:
“In times when so many households throughout Europe are facing the choice of heating or eating, we hoped the European Commission would be much more ambitious. The situation is tough and requires bold measures. Yet, what we see is just a list of recommendations and forecasts that show energy prices may go down after the winter. This is good, but definitely not enough for our citizens who still have to pay their bills in the meantime. The toolbox does not contain enough on how we will accelerate the green transition, even though this is a key factor for resolving the issue and preventing it from happening again in the future. Our group has also strongly advocated for an evaluation of the wholesale electricity market to be carried out by the European Commission. This evaluation should tell us whether the power price increase can be explained only by the global rise in fuel prices or if there are also market manipulations involved. This is of crucial importance if we want to avoid it in the future.”
Dan Nica, Romanian MEP and S&D spokesperson on high energy prices, said:
“The situation is critical for many of our citizens and businesses and, frankly speaking, our entire group expected much more determination from the European Commission. It is time for concrete measures on the table so that Europeans, especially the most vulnerable among them, can see Europe cares about their problems with their electricity bills. I don’t see how these vulnerable Europeans will find protection from these high bills with just words from the European Commission. I am convinced one of the most urgent and necessary measures is to temporarily freeze the price of electricity across the whole EU at the level it was at the beginning of this year. We also need a real European platform when negotiating the price of energy resources we import from third countries in order to achieve the best prices for us, as we did with the Covid-19 vaccines. I regret the absence from the proposed toolbox of a measure or instrument proposed and financed at European level to urgently intervene in the energy crisis. These are the concrete measures our group hoped to see.”