Finance

EU countries disagree on how to tackle energy crisis

This became apparent during a meeting of EU energy ministers in Luxembourg. There are major differences between EU countries in terms of energy mix, tax policy and social situation.

This means that there is not one solution that can be applied to all EU countries, says Kadri Simson, Euro Commissioner for Energy.

Measures

In some EU countries there are major consequences of energy price increases. The European Commissions therefore allow countries to take certain measures to mitigate these consequences. This includes income support for consumers and a temporary reduction in VAT.

For example, the cabinet in the Netherlands has decided to compensate families with an average of 400 euros for the higher energy bill. The business community can also make use of compensation.

The Netherlands opposes intervention in the energy market

Outgoing Minister Stef Blok of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy believes that the EU should let the market take its course and not intervene in the energy market. Other countries, such as Spain and Greece, want that and the French government no longer wants to link the price of electricity to that of gas.

The Netherlands, together with eight other EU countries, including Germany, are against taking measures that conflict with the European internal market for gas and electricity. Blok does think that the power connections between the member states can be improved.

High costs for consumers

Gas prices are currently rising sharply due to international developments, such as higher demand from Asia. As a result, many consumers and companies are faced with significantly higher costs for gas.

Dutch people with a permanent contract continue to pay their agreed price. But if you have a variable contract, or your permanent contract ends and you have to renew it, you will have to deal with higher prices.

There are even energy companies that want to charge higher rates to consumers, despite the fact that they have a permanent contract. They even threaten to shut down if consumers do not agree to higher prices. But the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is putting a stop to this.

Also difficult for companies

Companies have already indicated that they will pass this on in their prices to consumers. Some large energy consumers have already said that they will stop their production for a while, because it is no longer possible.

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