Spain’s prime minister has proposed that the European Commission (EC) negotiate gas contracts on behalf of all EU member states in order to strengthen cooperation amid soaring gas prices on the global marketplace.
Speaking on Wednesday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez proposed a novel solution to the spiraling cost of gas in Europe, suggesting the EU’s executive body could buy on its member states’ behalf.
“The proposal our government is making is that the EU Commission negotiate on behalf of all 27 member states,” Sanchez told reporters after an EU summit held in Slovenia.
“Then what we propose is a strengthened cooperation, in which the countries who want it can join and the Commission would negotiate.” Sanchez added that this proposal involved the EC negotiating in collaboration with private companies. The concept has been backed by Italy.
Earlier on Wednesday, the EU said it would review the way the bloc’s power market is organized and consider a revamp of the regulations. “There is no question that we need to take policy measures,” EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson told the European Parliament.
Celine Tellier, environment minister for the Wallonia region of Belgium, has already dismissed the idea, saying the Belgian government is “not convinced at this stage that group purchases would be a solution,” but would continue to engage in discussions.
On Wednesday, European gas prices reached record highs, rising sharply to above $1,900 per 1,000 cubic meters, equivalent to $186 per megawatt-hour in household terms.
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