Belgian PM urges Commission to concretize European gas price cap

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo welcomes the fact that the European Commission appears to be clearing the way for a temporary gas price cap across the EU. "This is an important step forward, but things really have to become concrete now," he responds. 

Along with several other member states, Belgium has been pushing for an intervention in the gas market to curb skyrocketing energy bills for months, but the Commission has so far held off on a general price cap. At the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday morning, however, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed a temporary gas price cap pending a new price index. 

"It is a temporary solution until a new EU price index ensuring a better functioning of the market is developed. The Commission has kick-started work on this," von der Leyen explained.

"We have long been arguing that there is a need to intervene in the gas market to protect all other markets and society. This is an important step forward, but things really have to become concrete now," Belgian Prime Minister De Croo responded to von der Leyen's speech. 

Belgian Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen, Flemish greens) called von der Leyen's proposal "a step forward in our plea for European action against high gas prices". The flexible gas price corridor proposed by Belgium and 14 other European member states in a letter last week "is essential to temper gas price while ensuring supply," she said. Van der Straeten will consult further with her European colleagues in the coming days.

Von der Leyen will expand on her proposals to reform the energy market in a letter to European heads of state and government, who will meet for an informal summit in the Czech capital Prague on Friday. 



European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (L) speaks with Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (R) before an EU summit on March 24, 2022 © Ludovic MARIN / AFP

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