The EU is divided on whether or not to restrict oil and gas prices to combat the bloc’s energy problem. Increased demand post-pandemic and geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West led EU wholesale gas prices to a record high in Q4 2021.
To combat the energy crisis, an increasing number of EU nations are pressing for a cap on gas prices, which continue to impact people’s budgets and companies profits.
The Netherlands and Italy are at odds on whether to implement a price ceiling. Countries like Germany have also expressed scepticism over the proposal. Imposing a price restriction “has risks,” says Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Italy, on the other hand, wants the EU to intervene in the energy markets while Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Greece support a price ceiling.
Premier Mario Draghi said: “Our governments have done their part and will continue to do so, but energy policy interventions cannot weigh only on the national budget, they must be structural.”
He spoke with his Dutch colleague on Thursday and said that although their positions still differ, “progress has been made”.
Mr Draghi told reporters after the visit that Mr Rutte promised to “examine all issues in favour, which is much more than he had done so far.”
He added: “Breaking away from gas dependence is difficult, but this is a prospect if the war continues with the atrocities we are seeing.”
On the same day, other EU MEPs asked for a ban on all Russian oil, coal, and gas imports, Several EU members, many of which rely on Moscow for their oil and gas requirements, oppose the initiative to restrict Russian energy.