Working out EU energy measures should take two to three weeks, says Belgian PM
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo expects it will take about two to three weeks to work out the details of the new European measures against soaring energy prices, he stated upon his arrival at the European summit in Brussels on Friday.
After months of discussions, EU leaders reached a deal on a list of measures to cap excessive gas prices on Thursday night. "This is a big step forward, but I will only be happy once the price cap is in place and bills really start falling," De Croo said on Friday before the start of the second day of the summit. Belgium has been one of the loudest proponents of a gas price cap in recent months.
"This is a big step forward, but I will only be happy once the price cap is in place and bills really start falling"
The heads of state and government agreed on joint gas purchases and the elaboration of a new price index for liquefied gas, among other things. In the short term, a temporary dynamic price corridor on natural gas transactions should bring relief.
It is up to member states' energy ministers, who are meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday, to work out the details of this mechanism. The ministers are meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday, but De Croo anticipates that a second meeting may be needed to finalise the agreement. "We are asking them to do something that has never been done before. We have to make sure there is a sufficient supply of gas. But I would assume that this can be realised within two to three weeks."
Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo arriving for the second day of a EU leaders Summit at The European Council Building in Brussels on October 21, 2022 © Ludovic MARIN / AFP