The EU’s executive body will propose its package this week, although it still needs to be signed off by member states.
Last week’s ministerial meeting revealed deep divisions, and governments are likely to demand changes to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s plan.
Its original five-point plan was even more ambitious, and the controversial idea of trying to cap the price of imported Russian gas was shelved for further negotiations. The move, which is currently under separate consideration and is expected to ease a liquidity crunch due to margin requirements in strained energy markets, had broad support last week, sources familiar with the situation said.
If U. von der Leyen’s demand reduction plan is approved by member states, it will be a radical change and the first concrete step towards reducing consumption by means close to rationing. But not all member states support such a plan.
“The sharp rise in electricity prices that we are seeing is putting pressure on households, small and medium-sized enterprises and industry, and could cause wider social and economic damage,” the European Commission’s draft proposal, seen Monday by Bloomberg, said. “In such an economic context, an urgent and coordinated EU-wide response is necessary.”
Gas prices are already falling, at least in part because of the Community’s plans.