On 13 October, the Commission adopted a Communication on Energy Prices, to tackle the exceptional rise in global energy prices, which is projected to last through the winter, and help Europe's people and businesses. The Communication includes a “toolbox” that the EU and its Member States can use to address the immediate impact of current prices increases, and further strengthen resilience against future shocks.
Presenting the toolbox, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said: “Rising global energy prices are a serious concern for the EU. As we emerge from the pandemic and begin our economic recovery, it is important to protect vulnerable consumers and support European companies. The Commission is helping Member States to take immediate measures to reduce the impact on households and businesses this winter. At the same time, we identify other medium-term measures to ensure that our energy system is more resilient and more flexible to withstand any future volatility throughout the transition.”
The measures set out in the toolbox will help to provide a timely response to the current energy price spikes, which are the consequence of an exceptional global situation. They will also contribute to an affordable, just and sustainable energy transition for Europe, and greater energy independence.
Immediate measure to protect consumers and industry
The current price spike requires a rapid and coordinated response. Priority should be given to targeted measures that can rapidly mitigate the impact of price rises for vulnerable consumers and small businesses within the existing legal framework. These measures include:
Structural medium-term measures
The clean energy transition is the best insurance against price shocks in the future, and needs to be accelerated. The EU will continue to develop an efficient energy system with high share of renewable energy.
In the meanwhile, a number of medium-term measures can be implemented to avoid future price surges, to further integrate the market, empower consumers and decarbonise the energy system. This will require actions on three key strands:
Commissioner Simson will present the Communication and toolbox to Energy Ministers on 26 October. European Leaders are then due to discuss energy prices at the upcoming European Council on 21-22 October.
Energy prices: Commission presents a toolbox of measures to tackle exceptional situation and its impacts (press release of 13 October 2021)