EU concerned about energy poverty due to high gas prices

The European Union is concerned about increasing energy poverty in the Member States. According to Commissioner Nicolas Schmit of Employment and Social Rights, millions of people are already paying so much in energy that they are below the poverty line. He fears that number will increase.

Oil and gas prices have risen sharply over the past few months, increasing the energy bills of people, as well as companies. According to Schmit, the European Union can help, but it is mainly the individual Member States that need to support citizens in the short term.

Energy issue next week on EU agenda

High energy prices are on the agenda of the European Leaders meeting this Thursday and Friday. Previously, the EU came up with a toolbox with support measures that individual countries can take. Many countries have now announced measures to cater to people and businesses.

In the Netherlands, the cabinet decided on Friday to pay around โ‚ฌ3 billion for that. Most of it is used to lower the energy load on gas and electricity. In addition, there will be money for insulating homes, so people get lower heating costs.

Greening

In the European context, the main consideration is given to measures aimed at preventing price fluctuations in the longer term, such as the joint purchasing of energy. Furthermore, the idea is to accelerate the transition to more sustainable energy so that European countries are less dependent on oil and gas. The European Investment Bank should make capital available for this purpose. The EU sees faster greening as the best way to avoid price fluctuations in fossil fuels.

Following the consultations of European leaders, at the end of this week, a meeting of EU countries responsible ministers will be held on 26 October to take decisions on this.