BRUSSELS (Reuters ):After months of negotiations that have so far failed to break the impasse between states divided over whether the move will relieve Europe’s energy crisis, members of the European Union will attempt to reach an agreement on an EU-wide cap on gas prices on Tuesday.
The European Union’s latest response to an energy crisis brought on by Russia cutting back on gas deliveries to Europe this year, which resulted in sharp price increases, is a price cap proposed by the European Commission last month. Energy ministers from 27 member countries will meet in Brussels to try to approve the cap.
One senior EU official stated that “probably not one member state is comfortable with the plan we are debating,” calling the gas price ceiling “one of the most intricate and challenging issues you can imagine.”
While Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria worry that it would divert much-needed gas shipments away from Europe, countries like Belgium, Poland, and Italy argue that a cap is necessary to protect their economy from excessive energy prices.
Other EU diplomats expressed uncertainty about whether an agreement will be reached on Tuesday. One choice may be to take the negotiations to a summit of the leaders of the EU’s member states on Thursday, and then attempt once more to get ministers to adopt the price ceiling the following week.