EU mulls joint gas purchases in response to price spike: press
The European Commission is considering options for EU member states to purchase natural gas supplies jointly in order to shield them from high prices, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.
The commission intends to publish a "toolbox" this week of measures that the EU can implement in response to the recent surge in gas prices to record highs, Reuters reported on October 11. Joint gas purchases are one such measure, and have been proposed by Spain and other governments in recent weeks. These purchases would help build up a strategic gas reserve.
Gas prices have soared amid a strong rebound in demand and supply constraints, undermining Europe's economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The draft toolbox also confirmed that recent measures taken by member states such as imposing price caps and temporary reductions in fuel and power taxes were allowed under EU law.
EU leaders are due to discuss the creation of a strategic gas reserve at the European Council summit on October 21-22. The European Commission has rejected criticism that EU climate policies are to blame for the current crisis, arguing instead that high prices make clear the bloc needs to reduce its imports of fossil fuels.