12 Sep

At the Extraordinary Energy Council on 9 September 2022, ministers discussed the necessary and possible emergency measures to mitigate high energy prices and had an exchange of views on the security of supply situation and preparedness in the EU for the winter season.

Member States generally agreed on the need for a swift and coordinated action at EU level to tackle high energy prices, send a strong signal to the market and consumers, therefore the options presented by the Commission on possible the electricity market interventions were supported by most of the Member States, however, these measures were not considered sufficient to decrease very high prices. They called for immediate measures that would reduce the energy bills for consumers before the heating season.

At the meeting of the Energy Council, Hungary was represented by Minister Péter Szijjártó. At the meeting, the Minister stressed that there is currently no physical alternative to Russian gas in the region, and therefore the idea of introducing a price cap solely for Russian pipeline gas is completely contrary to the European and Hungarian interests. On the one hand, this measure would be fatal in Europe’s energy supply, since the price cap only on Russian gas would result in an immediate halt to Russian gas supplies. On the other hand, it would not lead to the lowering of energy prices, but on the contrary, it would increase the price, due to lower gas supply on the market.

With regards to energy security, he added that Hungary was in better situation than other European countries, since in Europe the filling of storage facilities was barely more than 20 % of European consumption, while the Hungarian storage facilities are filled to an equivalent to 38 % of the Hungarian consumption, sufficient for more than 80 days.