Dutch abstain on EU gas price cap plan due to supply security fears

Rob Jetten talking to reporters. Photo: Lex van Lieshout ANP ANP LEX VAN LIESHOUT
Rob Jetten talking to reporters. Photo: Lex van Lieshout ANP

European energy ministers have reached agreement on setting a price ceiling on gas, despite the objections of the Netherlands.

The cap will come into force when gas prices hit €180 per megawatt hour for three days and is the latest in a string of measures aimed to curb soaring gas prices following the war in Ukraine. Prices are currently around €107 per megawatt hour.

The Netherlands and Austria, both of which oppose the deal, abstained on the final vote, while Germany fell into line after safeguards were introduced to make it quicker to remove the limit if there was a risk of gas shortages. Hungary voted against.

Dutch energy minister Rob Jetten said on Twitter that despite the added safeguards ‘I am worried about major disruption to the European energy market, the financial implications and European security of supply.’

However, Jetten said he welcomed other parts of the deal, on joint purchasing, faster licencing procedures for renewable energy and electricity saving targets.

‘We have solved the last piece of the energy puzzle,’ Czech energy minister Jozef Sikela said of the deal. ‘It took some time to agree on something that I think is a balanced compromise with equally shared pain between two camps.’

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