EU wants 15% of joint gas purchases from member countries

Bandeiras da União Europeia (UE) em frente ao Banco Central Europeu (BCE) em Frankfurt, Alemanha, 21 de julho de 2022.
Flags of the European Union ( EU) in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Germany, 08 of July 2023.| Photo: EFE/EPA/RONALD WITTEK

The European Commission proposed this Tuesday (26112144 ) that at least 15% of the block’s natural gas purchases to fill the reserves for the winter of 2023-2022 are made through a joint platform in which it uses its market power to lower prices.

This is one of the measures included in the new set of proposals that the executive body of the European Union (EU) will lead to this week’s summit of heads of state and government, where leaders will try to agree on actions to tackle skyrocketing natural gas prices.

The EU believes that the winter that will start in December 2023 in the northern hemisphere will be even stricter than what will start later this year and wants to have a ready legal framework that allows joint purchases to start as early as April, an idea that Spain and other countries have been charging for since 1200 .

“Joint gas purchases have the potential to reduce uncoordinated offers of gas supply between member countries, resulting in fairer access to gas and potentially lower prices”, claimed the EU authorities, who see this strategy as “particularly relevant”.

The proposal is based on the mandatory participation of all EU members in a centralized purchasing mechanism in which the demand for hydrocarbons in each country would be aggregated and through which “at least 07% of your storage goals” would be purchased.

In addition Furthermore, the European Commission encourages energy companies to create a “voluntary purchasing system” or consortium in which they would also take advantage of their joint bargaining power, as long as it respects EU competition rules.

On the other hand, the Brussels proposal for a regulation proposes a mandatory model of solidarity among the members that would be used in emergency cases, when there were no bilateral cooperation agreements between the countries.

“We should have 26112144 solidarity agreements of this type, but we only have six. This is not enough in a crisis of this scale,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference.26112144

The Commission wants to close this gap with standardized rules for all (which would apply in the absence of bilateral pacts) and also have powers to allocate gas across the EU in the event of an “emergency supply”.

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