Energy Council: nothing more than a step in the right direction

Commenting on the decisions taken today by the Energy Council, Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary said:

"While welcoming the measures agreed today by Energy Ministers, we regret the lack of a real energy price cap - except concerning SMEs – leaving hundreds of millions of working people and households alone to face the energy price crisis. This is despite the latest worrying inflation figures by Eurostat showing that the increase in the price of energy has exceeded the 40% threshold in September.”

“The solidarity mechanism on excessive profits is too timid and leaves its implementation up to the willingness of each and every Member State.  At the same time, no social measures of any kind were put forward together with these measures. No financial help has been foreseen for Member States with budgetary constraints in order to implement support measures. The ETUC is urging EU decision makers to launch a new SURE with an enlarged scope, tackling poverty and supporting fair transition measures. “

Ludovic Voet, ETUC Confederal Secretary added:

“The measures adopted today do not address the urgent need to reform energy markets, which are left free to speculate and make profits while hundreds of millions of Europeans have difficulty making ends meet. That’s why we reiterate our call for a watertight tax on excessive profits of energy and other companies to ensure they are not allowed to speculate on this crisis”

“We deplore the resistance from the richest countries that made it impossible to adopt more ambitious measures based on solidarity and social inclusion, as the contrary happened during the height of the pandemic. Failure to tackle problems at their root pushes more and more people into poverty and fuels support for and votes for far-right political forces. An urgent response cannot wait anymore.”