EU Gentiloni warns France of ‘risky’ energy market overhaul – .

EU Gentiloni warns France of ‘risky’ energy market overhaul – .

(Bloomberg) – The European Union should avoid “hasty and risky” energy market reforms in response to recent consumer price hikes, said Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni.
France is pushing the EU to reorganize energy markets to give visibility to prices and cope with soaring gas and electricity costs. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said last week that the price gains “jeopardize the social and economic sustainability of the energy transition”.

“Hasty reforms in energy markets are dangerous,” Gentiloni, a former Italian prime minister, said Sunday, quoted by German newspaper Die Welt.

“Due to the price increases, the political pressure is very strong at the moment, but this should not lead to hasty reactions, also because the price evolution is probably only temporary,” he said. added. “Otherwise, we run the risk of intervening on changes in a market that normally works extremely well. “

European leaders have mostly rejected calls for a fundamental overhaul, choosing to stick with tax cuts and subsidies that many states have already introduced to ease consumer pain.

But France believes governments should decouple the cost of electricity bills from rising fuel prices – when electricity is mainly produced with nuclear power plants and renewables. It counts Spain and Greece among its allies.

One of France’s proposals is that an “automatic stabilizer” transfers the gains from high energy prices from electricity producers to electricity suppliers and customers.

Gentiloni was also skeptical that EU countries would jointly source gas.

“We have had good experiences with the joint purchase of Covid vaccines by the EU, but gas deliveries are not Covid vaccines,” he told Die Welt.

“We must negotiate with the countries of North Africa, Norway and especially with Russia,” he added. “We need a common European position vis-à-vis other countries, but translating it into joint purchases is not the way to go. “

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