Brussels (Times Of Ocean)- The European Union’s leaders failed to agree on a way to tackle rising energy prices despite marathon talks on the second day of their summit on Friday.
“Today, we discussed energy-related matters,” European Council President Charles Michel told reporters after the summit, adding that the EU leaders “worked all day to be able to show our unity and determination.”
“The matter is very difficult,” he said, since its impact has been felt “all over Europe,” and he stressed that European leaders are willing to work with the European Commission and economic operators to develop “the most efficient measures.”
According to Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, participants at the summit looked at “various options to cushion the impact of high energy prices on consumers and businesses,” including income support, discounted subsidy vouchers , reduced taxation , price caps , and modulation of prices.
She asserted that it would be essential to address the “root causes of high electricity prices … and volatile gas prices.”
According to her, the European Commission will propose options in May to decouple gas prices from the overall electricity prices at the request of EU leaders.
Von der Leyen stressed that “despite the differences in the energy mixes of each EU country, we need to pull together to pull our weight, and that is why I advocated for a strong European approach.”
The bloc’s executive body proposes joint action on gas procurement using collective bargaining power, as well as plans to increase storage and interconnection.
Before the summit, differences between EU countries were well known. Germany, the Netherlands, and the Baltics oppose intervening in the energy market and limiting prices. Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, France, Belgium, and Poland favor it.