EU Leaders Support Joint Purchasing of Gas, Market Correction Mechanism

BRUSSELS, March 18, 2020 (Xinhua) -- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks at a press conference after a video conference in Brussels, Belgium, March 17, 2020. The heads of state and government of the European Union (EU) agreed during the video conference on Tuesday to endorse a temporary restriction on travels to the EU territory amid coronavirus concerns. (European Union/Handout via Xinhua)

Leaders of the European Union have supported the idea of joint purchasing of gas and of establishing a market correction mechanism to “limit episodes of excessive gas prices,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.

“Here leaders supported very much the idea to allow companies for the joint purchase to build consortium and to work together and to join forces so to increase our common market power for the demand of gas,” Von der Leyen told a press conference following the first day of the meeting of the European Council.

She added that “there is one binding element in it,” in particular to aggregate a certain amount of gas for joint purchasing.

“Fifteen percent are binding to be aggregated as demand on the market together as a joint aggregated demand,” she said.

The EU leaders have supported the idea of establishing a market correction mechanism to “limit episodes of excessive gas prices.”

“We are going to establish a market correction mechanism exactly to limit episodes of excessive gas prices… Here we will work with the energy ministers to submit a legal proposal to operationalize this market correction mechanism,” Von der Leyen said.

The EU leaders have also called on the European Commission and the European Council to “urgently submit concrete decisions” on “a temporary EU framework to cap the price of gas in electricity generation,” according to the European Council conclusions on energy and economy.

On Tuesday, the European Commission unveiled a set of proposals that could require member states to buy gas via a joint purchasing mechanism to avoid internal competition for scarce resources. The next day, Michel said that a significant number of EU countries supported introducing limits on gas prices within the bloc.

The EU summit in Brussels is being held from October 20-21. Apart from energy issues, the EU leaders are expected to discuss relations with China, Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, as well as a possible introduction of a price cap on gas supplies.

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