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EU chief von der Leyen promises energy market reform

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that now is the time for the bloc to impose a price ceiling on Russian pipeline gas.

John Thys | AFP | beautiful pictures

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the European Union would launch a “deep and comprehensive reform” of the electricity market.

In his annual State of the Union speech, delivered at the European Parliament building in the French city of Strasbourg, von der Leyen said the market was designed according to the principle of merit, and was not suitable for purpose.

“Consumers should reap the benefits of cheap renewable energy, so we must remove the dominance of gas prices over electricity prices,” she said.

Von der Leyen also said there has been a shift from pipeline gas to increased use of liquefied natural gas, but the gas market usage standard, TTF, has not been consistent.

She said the committee will work to develop a more representative standard of trading that reflects this change, while also easing liquidity pressures on energy suppliers by revising regulations. collateral and take measures to limit intraday price movements.

An energy crisis in both supply and prices in Europe occurred earlier this month when Russia indefinitely stops the flow of gas to Europe through the main Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

EU Energy Minister see you friday to discuss a five point plan which includes a cap on the price of Russian gas, a tax on the profits of fossil fuel companies, a revenue limit on nuclear and renewable energy companies, a mandatory target for a 5% reduction peak hour energy use and emergency lines of credit for power companies.

Russian President Putin threatened ignore existing contracts and stop supplying energy to Europe entirely after the plan is announced.

Tackling tax plans and revenue limits, von der Leyen said that while profits aren’t necessarily a bad thing, “it’s a mistake to receive extraordinary record revenues and profits that are from the war and thanks to the support of consumers.”

“In these times, profit must be shared and directed to those who need it most.”

She said millions of households and businesses across the European Union are struggling with price increases and fear for the future.

She added that the tax on fossil fuel profits would provide 140 billion euros ($139.8 billion) among member states to support energy bills.

Von der Leyen said the bloc’s priority must be ending dependence on Russian gas, with imports from the country having fallen from 40% last year to 9% today.

“We’ve agreed to go into hosting, we’re at 84% now, well above our target,” she said.

However, she continued: “This will not be enough. We must diversify away from Russia to reliable suppliers such as the United States, Norway, Algeria and others,” as well as investment. more on renewable energy and LNG terminals.

Fitch: EU should manage to balance gas market despite Russian supply shutdown

‘Putin will fail’

Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska was present in Strasbourg as a guest of honor and was warmly welcomed by MPs.

Zelenska tweeted that she wanted to “personally thank” von der Leyen for her contribution to Ukraine becoming a candidate for EU membership.

Von der Leyen, who delivered a speech wearing the colors of Ukraine’s yellow and blue flags, made cryptic statements about the war, saying Ukraine had faced “the face of evil” after the invasion. Russia’s strategy on February 24.

“Much is at stake, not only for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe and the world at large,” she said, paying tribute to the victims of the war. .

“It’s about autocracy against democracy and I stand here with the belief that with the necessary courage and solidarity, Putin will fail and Ukraine and Europe will prevail.”

“Courage has a name today and that name is Ukraine. Courage has a face and that face is the face of Ukrainian men and women who are standing up against Russian aggression.” .”

Kyiv forces have reclaimed thousands of km lands occupied by Russia in recent days, leading to concerns about Moscow’s next move. Russia launched intense shelling in the Kharkiv area on Saturday.

Von der Leyen also said sanctions against Russia are “here to stay” and this is “a time to settle, not appease.”

Three-quarters of Russia’s banking sector has been cut off from international markets, nearly 1,000 international companies have left the country, car output is down 75% year-on-year, and the country’s “industry is in decline”, with the military stripping home appliances. she noted for parts due to lack of semiconductor.

She added that she wants to extend “seamless access” to the EU single market for Ukraine and will travel to Kyiv on Wednesday to discuss the matter with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

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