Portuguese PM calls on EU to review the way energy prices are set

In front of MEPs, he said that the short-term proposals presented by the European Commission “do not add anything to the measures already adopted in the past”. [EPA-EFE/MIGUEL A. LOPES]

Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, on Wednesday called for a review of the mechanism for setting energy prices in the European Union, which he said harm Portugal, and for short-term measures to address the current crisis, without jeopardising environmental goals.

Costa defended these positions in his speech opening the parliamentary debate in Lisbon on the European Council meeting, scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Brussels. One of the central themes will be the current trajectory of rising energy prices.

In front of MEPs, he said that the short-term proposals presented by the European Commission “do not add anything to the measures already adopted in the past”.

“It is time to effectively debate the price formation mechanism, namely the question of whether the price should maintain a margin-based logic, which clearly penalises countries like Portugal, where the renewable energy component is already particularly significant,” argued Costa.

At this stage of the energy crisis, the European Union “must remain consistent in the objective of addressing the climate emergency, without disregarding all the measures that need to be adopted in a transitional manner to respond to the fuel crisis,” said Costa.

According to the prime minister, as a response to the current crisis, energy interconnections must be increased “so that there is a real integrated and interconnected European market”, as well as broadening the scope of interconnections with third countries “that can also be a source of clean energy, as in the case of Morocco”.

“We must have the ability to diversify energy sources, invest more in green hydrogen and widen the gateways to natural gas, which is a transitional energy. We cannot simply be dependent on Russia, Turkey and Algeria. We must each strengthen the transatlantic relationship. Portugal is already the gateway for one-third of the LNG coming from the United States – we can and should increase this share”, he argued.

(Pedro Morais Fonseca | Lusa.pt)

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