economy and politics

Brussels proposes extending the ‘Iberian exception’ to the rest of the EU to contain the price of electricity

Brussels proposes extending the 'Iberian exception' to the rest of the EU to contain the price of electricity


The European Commission has opened the door to generalize to the rest of the European Union the so-called ‘Iberian exception’ by which Spain and Portugal have been able to temporarily limit the price of gas for the production of electricity and thus contain the prices of energy, triggered by the instability generated by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“Based on the experience of the Member States, the Commission is ready to discuss the development of a temporary European framework to limit the influence of high gas prices on electricity price formation,” according to the working document. that Brussels has shared with the governments and to which Europa Press has had access.

The proposal has been transferred to the countries in a meeting of ambassadors a little more than 24 hours before the energy ministers of the European Union participate in an extraordinary council to agree on measures to reduce energy consumption and lower the prices of electricity. Energy.

Without directly mentioning the Spanish-Portuguese experience, the text describes the mechanism initially designed to reduce wholesale electricity prices in the Iberian market (MIBEL), a system approved last June that will cost the Iberian Peninsula 8,400 million euros. .

“One option could be to limit the price of gas in electricity generation to a level that helps reduce electricity prices without leading to higher gas consumption. The cost differential between cap and market prices will be borne by the electrical system in the Member States”, explains the document from Brussels, which includes other measures that will also be discussed on Friday by the ministers.

The Commission’s technicians recall that the prolonged situation of high gas prices has resulted in “record energy bills” both in homes and for European companies and warn of “general concern” about the impact of these prices on the cost of living, inflation and European competitiveness.

For this reason, the Community Executive maintains in its proposal for measures, the economic context requires a “rapid and coordinated” response throughout the EU to address the rise in prices and avoid lasting social and economic damage.

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