Gas price, distant EU agreement on roof. Draghi-Meloni contacts

Today the Extraordinary Energy Council meets in Brussels. The leader of Fdi: “We need an immediate response at European level”

EU member countries are far from reaching an agreement on the price of natural gas. On the subject of energy, in the meantime, contacts between the Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, and the leader of the Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni.

ENERGY COUNCIL – The ceiling on the price of gas, in the EU, appears far away despite 15 states, including Italy and France, have sent a letter to the Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson asking her to study a price cap on methane imported into the EU from all suppliers, not only on the one coming from Russia. “We are nowhere near a consensus on the price cap”, explains an EU diplomatic source in view of the extraordinary Energy Council meeting today in Brussels. For the source, “it’s best to focus on the things that unite us, not the things that divide us.”

Discussing the price cap, he argues, is “a waste of time”, as some countries are clearly against it, given that “we are civilized, reliable nations that respect the rule of law. We are talking about Norway: from one civilized country to another. , it would be very strange to unilaterally set a price cap “. It is not, he adds, “the way we do business: Russia does this”. For the diplomat, the 15 signatories of the letter “seem to have different ideas” on how exactly to structure the price cap.

Even on a price cap limited to Russian gas, according to the diplomat, it would be obvious to find an agreement: “It is difficult to say, because it has not been discussed in the last two weeks”. But the Member States, he observes, have “very different” situations, so “it won’t be easy”. Even if “we are not opposed in principle” to a cap limited to Russian gas, given that Moscow is an “unreliable partner” and “uncivilized”, it cannot be taken for granted. And, even if it does pass, from a practical point of view it would be “quite irrelevant”, given that Russian gas imports into the EU have dropped significantly since February 24, 2022.

The situation regarding the high costs of natural gas in Europe will remain “challenging” throughout 2022 and also “in the winter of 2023-24, as fixed price contracts signed before the crisis are expiring and suppliers offer new, higher prices” , underlines the European Commission, in a paper released before the Council.

DRAGONS-MELONS – “The energy crisis requires from Europe a response that allows to reduce costs for families and businesses, to limit the exceptional gains made by producers and importers, to avoid dangerous and unjustified distortions of the internal market and to keep together once again Europe in the face of the emergency. Faced with the common threats of our times, we cannot divide ourselves according to the space in our national budgets “, the words of Prime Minister Mario Draghi on the eve of the meeting. “In the next European Councils we must show ourselves compact, determined, in solidarity – just as we have been in supporting Ukraine”, concluded the Prime Minister on the day also characterized by contacts with the leader of the Brothers of Italy, Meloni.

“In the face of the epochal challenge of the energy crisis, an immediate response at a European level is needed to protect businesses and families”, Meloni’s words in a statement. “No Member State can offer effective and long-term solutions on its own in the absence of a common strategy, not even those that appear less financially vulnerable. This is why the hope is that in the European Energy Council of tomorrow, interest will prevail. common and not the particular one of any Member State “.

On the level of unity, on an internal level, do you feel guaranteed? “I feel guaranteed”, she replies to reporters about the call for unity she addressed to all political forces regarding the energy crisis.