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Economy

We should continue our fight to protect the reduction of utility costs

| February 28, 2018

Last Wednesday the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee adopted a legislative package that will define the future of the electricity market. The review of the electricity market regulation and directive is another step towards the unified, consumer-oriented Energy Union and energy markets. “Member States should not lose the possibility to intervene in prices in the energy market in favor of their citizens,” said András Gyürk, head of Hungary’s EPP delegation and member of the Committee.

Compared to the stringency of the rapporteur’s original proposal, we have managed to significantly tone down those sections of the draft that deal with regulated prices – but the success is not complete. Maintaining price controls for households is still bound by time limitations and other conditions and this restricts the Member States’ authority to regulate residential energy prices.

“Although I welcome the recent changes to the draft legislation, I hope that through further negotiations with the Council and the European Commission we will manage to set up a proper framework for price control. This is an issue on which we can’t compromise. Protecting the interests of the consumers is our utmost priority and, as I see it, Hungary needs this energy policy tool,” Gyürk added.

The first draft of the report would have removed the regulated prices radically by granting only a very short interim period. Thanks to the amendments proposed by, among others, MEP András Gyürk, the current, compromise version of the report allows the application of price control measures for up to ten years under certain conditions. There is no time limit in the version in front of the Council and our goal is to make this position prevail as well in the coming discussions.

Certain topics remain in the adopted regulation, such as the introduction of the capacity mechanism, where the Parliament’s position is far from perfect, but even in this case we can rely on the Council’s draft during the three-party negotiations, the EPP politician said.

“If the text is not acceptable for us, then we won’t support the proposal in the final vote,” Gyürk said.