The European Union’s gas price cap proposal is a “joke,” Polish climate minister Anna Moskwa said on Thursday.
Her criticism followed disagreement among the 27 European Union countries on Wednesday over a proposal to cap future gas prices at EUR 275 per megawatt hour (MWh).
The European Commission has unveiled its natural gas price cap proposal. It is, how to put it, a curious one.
The cap is set at €275 per MWh. But, and THIS IS THE IMPORTANT BIT, that price will need to be breached for two consecutive weeks.
So it's a cap designed not to cap.
— Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) November 22, 2022
“The gas cap proposal is key, but what emerged the day before yesterday is a joke. It was presented at the last moment and deviates from what had been proposed before and isn’t acceptable as it’s higher than current market prices,” Ms Moskwa said in Brussels.
Minister @Moskwa_Anna ahead of today's Extraordinary #Energy Council:
For today we need a maximum price on gas. This is the position of the majority of ?? Member States and this is what we will be raising today. This is our condition for discussing other solutions. pic.twitter.com/qXijLZjGZo
— Poland in the EU (@PLPermRepEU) November 24, 2022
As many as 15 EU countries including Poland, Italy and Greece want a cap, while a camp led by Germany argues that it could hamper gas supplies.
“I do not know if there is anyone who could back this proposal… it is not even a start to a discussion,” the minister assessed.
The European Commission proposes a gas price cap that would not be binding even during the worst price hikes. Typical: Refusing to act on behalf of the majority of Europeans when necessary, covering up the oligarchs' shenanigans and, then, swooping in with a fig leaf of a policy
— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) November 23, 2022
Belgian energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten also commented on the matter, calling the The European Commission’s proposal “unsatisfactory.”
“The text that is on the table… does not clearly say if it will have an effect on prices,” she told reporters.
Meanwhile, Estonia’s Economic Affairs Minister Riina Sikkut said her country is willing to accept the proposal only if it would be activated in extreme circumstances.