At the unofficial summit of the European Union in Prague, the leaders of the member states will talk about Russian aggression against Ukraine and about measures to mitigate the energy price, where the European Commission proposed the preparation of a price cap for gas imports.
In a letter to leaders, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, proposed five measures to deal with the energy crisis, including the preparation of a price cap for gas imports. As part of this measure, he suggests they consider capping gas prices in connection with the Dutch hub TTF, on which is currently tied to gas pricing in Europe.
The price restriction would be valid until the implementation of an additional index for determining prices in gas purchase contracts, which would take into account the dynamics of trading in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is already in preparation.
Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Dove said on Thursday that Brussels’ proposals are going in the right direction. Leaders have time to prepare measures until the regular EU summit, which will take place in two weeks.
According to the Prime Minister, the discussion about these price caps for gas has been somewhat simplified so far, since not all caps are the same. “It all depends on where you put it, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. We’re not going to talk about whether we agree on terms, but whether we all understand these measures the same way,” Golob explained.
On today’s agenda, the leaders have a response on Russian escalation of aggression on Ukraine and further military, financial, humanitarian and political support to this country. The members approved the eighth package of sanctions against Russia, which also includes the legal basis for a price cap for Russian oil, on Thursday.
Unified condemnation of the Russian war
The energy crisis and the war in Ukraine also marked the discussions on Thursday’s first session of the European Political Community in Prague, where more than 40 European leaders unanimously condemned Russian aggression on Ukraine.
“The first message is that we have achieved unity among 44 European countries that have clearly condemned Russian aggression on Ukraine and expressed support for Ukraine. This is very important,” said the French president after Thursday’s meeting Emmanuel Macronwho was also the initiator of the creation of the EPS.
Macron sees the possibility of cooperation in several joint projects discussed by the leaders, who agreed, among other things, that they must financially help Ukraine to strengthen its resilience.
The leaders also talked about a common strategy for energy supply. According to the French president, there was also a lot of agreement regarding the need to protect critical infrastructure after the Nord Stream gas pipelines were damaged.
They also emphasized the importance of cooperation on in the field of cyber security, Macron explained, mentioning migration as well as youth education as possible areas of cooperation.
Exchange hosting between members and non-members of the EU
The host of the meeting, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, thanked Macron for the initiative. “The fact that 44 leaders have come here to discuss future cooperation is a significant achievement,” he said.
Fiala, whose country currently holds the EU Council presidency, announced that the next meeting will take place in the spring in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau. There will be two sessions for Moldova hosted Spain and the United Kingdom. Non-members and members of the EU are expected to alternate as hosts.
Moldovan President Maia Sandu said they were already looking forward to being able to hosted the next meeting to deepen cooperation in the EPS. “We must constantly strive for a stronger and more resilient Europe,” she stressed on joint press conference with Macron and Fiala.
The leaders of all 27 EU member states and 17 other European countries were invited to the first EPS summit. Among these are the leaders of all six countries of the Western Balkans, as well as Ukraine, Turkey and the United Kingdom. At the first session, out of 44 leaders, only Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was missing.