The energy crisis affecting much of Europe has created tensions between the Member States of the European Union. The unprecedented surge in energy prices in the EU has sparked a blame game, as member states urged the EU to bring the crisis under control. Some member states criticized Russia for deliberately restricting gas supplies, while others attributed the crisis to Brussels’ plans for a green economic overhaul.
European gas prices hit all-time highs on Friday, with prices at Dutch hub TTF, a European benchmark, up an unprecedented 400 percent.
It comes as member states rushed to impose emergency measures to cushion the impact.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex has pledged to freeze gas prices for consumers, swearing that “there will be no more increases in the price of gas”.
Spain and Italy have both urged the European Commission to draw up plans to help member states respond to spikes in electricity prices.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Europe needs to strengthen its bargaining power to help curb rising electricity and gas prices.
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Emerald Maxwell of France24 explained: “Demand has not been matched by increased supply.
“It is suspected that Russia, where most of Europe’s natural gas comes from, is deliberately restricting its supply to pressure Europe to approve Nord Stream 2.
“European climate policy is also singled out, which means that Europe is less able to turn to coal-fired power plants, and renewables are not yet closing the gap.
“The EU, in turn, blames the continent’s dependence on gas.”
Poland has already asked Brussels to withdraw from a planned Green Agenda.
A Polish government spokesperson said: “Energy prices are currently skyrocketing across the EU and putting unprecedented pressure on energy companies and our citizens.
“When designing energy and climate policies, we need to ensure their social acceptability, otherwise we risk their failure. “
In response, Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission, chided Poland: “Instead of being crippled or slowing things down due to the current price hike in the energy sector, we should speed up things in the transition to renewable energy so that affordable renewable energy becomes accessible to all. “