They represent 45% of the population and close to half of the GDP of the European Union. And the nine countries present at the European summit of Mediterranean countries in Alicante (EUMED 2022) have agreed to present a joint position before the next European energy council with the priority intention of putting a cap on high gas prices and preventing speculation. . France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus sign the Alicante Declaration.
Pedro Sánchez, who opened the turn of interventions before the two hundred accredited journalists congratulating the Prime Minister of Croatia, just a few minutes after his country’s team eliminated Brazil in the Soccer World Cup, immediately changed the tone to highlight the need to unite “in the face of Putin’s blackmail”, and was pleased that the nine approved a common proposal to put a cap on the price of gas before the Energy Council next week, and expressed the need to accelerate the reform of the electricity market.
“We call for a temporary and effective market-based gas price cap to be rapidly established, ensuring the prevention of excessive energy prices and also industrial competitiveness and security of supply”
The second part of the summit was devoted to economic governance. All the leaders present were satisfied with the line drawn by the Commission. Macron outlined the need to combine “budgetary seriousness” with the need to invest in technology and be more competitive “compared to the Americans”, and highlighted the “common will to advance in a common Defense”. The French president placed special emphasis on the purpose of fighting against the alarming problem of plastic pollution in the Mediterranean.
Along the same lines as his colleagues, the Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, assured that the Union has learned the lessons derived from the financial crisis and the pandemic, and considered it essential to “have a permanent macroeconomic investment instrument” for issues such as Defense , energy or industry.
The Alicante Declaration, the joint document signed by the nine leaders, defends “measures to mitigate the economic and social cost of cutting off the Russian gas supply. We agreed on the importance of achieving greater European solidarity in the field of electricity and gas, including through purchases, storage and strengthening energy interconnections, in order to optimize the diversification of suppliers and energy sources, thus allowing a better response to supply interruptions as well as the energy transition.
“Recalling the conclusions of the European Council of October 2022,” the document reads, “we call for a temporary and effective market-based gas price cap to be rapidly established, ensuring the prevention of excessive energy prices and industrial competitiveness and security of supply”.
With regard to economic governance, the approved text states that “taking into account the diverse economic situation of the Member States, the new tax rules must be simpler, favorable to investment and based on national appropriation, in order to to reinforce fiscal sustainability in a more efficient and effective way, within the powers of a shared common objective and a solid European framework.
“The new economic governance framework”, the statement continues, “must take into account the lessons learned from our joint response to the COVID-19 crisis, in particular the creation of SURE and the Next Generation EU instrument, including its model Governance Review We will strive to find consensus on the content of the Governance Review.”
“The new economic governance framework”, the statement continues, “must take into account the lessons learned from our joint response to the COVID-19 crisis, in particular the creation of SURE and the Next Generation instrument”
The President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, attended the first work session, which focused the debate on the Market Correction Mechanism, the Commission’s proposal on a cap on the price of gas.
President Sánchez has indicated that for Spain, the three gas regulations that are being debated -the one to reinforce gas solidarity, the one to accelerate the deployment of renewables and the one to cap the price of gas- are part of a comprehensive package that “must be approved jointly”.