European Union energy ministers convened on Thursday in Brussels for an Extraordinary Energy Council to discuss proposals for three emergency regulations on establishing a solidarity mechanism on energy, an easier renewable permitting process, and a market correction mechanism for gas prices, also known as a gas price cap.

During the last European Council, the prime ministers of 16 EU member states, including Malta, called on the European Commission to issue a proposal allowing for lower and stable gas prices across the bloc. However, during Thrusday’s meeting, there was no agreement on the proposal presented by the Commission, which was not considered favourably by most EU member states due to several reservations.

Malta is among the countries that are disagreeing with this proposal. Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli said that while Malta agreed with the proposals for energy solidarity and easier permitting process for renewables, it cannot agree with the way the market correction mechanism is being proposed.

The minister explained that the way the market correction mechanism was proposed neither tackles the need for stabilisation of gas prices nor ensures an implementable mechanism that can truly assist member states deal with gas prices. “Unfortunately, the proposal before us does not address our concerns and will not be effective in controlling the exorbitant gas prices used for electricity production”, said the minister.

In this regard, the EU energy ministers decided to continue the negotiations in the coming days to reach agreement on solutions that can make a difference in gas prices.

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