The President of the Government of Spain takes part in the European Council in Brussels

The EU recognises the uniqueness of Spain and Portugal and allows them to carry out exceptional measures to lower electricity prices

President's News - 2022.3.25

Brussels (Belgium)

The president of the Government of Spain, in a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, stressed that "Today we European leaders have given an effective and urgent response to a situation that our citizens have been suffering for months and that the crisis in Ukraine has aggravated to the point of making it unsustainable. Today, at last, we have taken responsibility and provided a joint solution to a demand that Europeans have been requesting for a long time.

As Pedro Sánchez stressed, the measure that is "exceptional and temporary, does not involve gas subsidies, nor does it distort incentives for clean energy or electricity flows between countries". Therefore, the measure does not distort the European electricity market.

At present, the daily wholesale electricity market price is set by gas-fired power plants. For these reasons, the Government of Spain will temporarily establish a benchmark price for gas used to produce electricity that will be substantially lower than the current one. As gas sets the daily price of electricity, this measure will lower the price of electricity bills for consumers.

High energy prices are having an increasingly negative impact on citizens and businesses, which has been aggravated by Russia's military aggression against Ukraine. For this reason, Spain has been leading the debate at a European level since September 2021 to agree on solutions that will have a direct impact on a significant decrease in the price of bills paid by consumers.

Ukraine, Economic and Foreign Affairs, Strategic Compass and COVID-19

Pool UEThe first day of the European Council, together with the heads of State and Government, was attended by US President Joe Biden who, on his first trip to Europe since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, wanted to send a message of unity and cooperation between the EU and the US. The President of Ukraine, Volodymir Zelenskyy, also participated by videoconference to explain the development of the invasion of his country.

The EU27 have agreed to continue financial aid and humanitarian assistance to refugees, who now number more than 3.7 million, in addition to some 7 million internally displaced persons. The countries will therefore extend humanitarian aid to countries bordering Ukraine, which are receiving the majority of citizens fleeing the war, and establish a Solidarity Trust Fund for Ukraine. Spain, which is committed to the refugees, continues its work in the three centres set up to receive them and has promised to send another consignment of defensive and offensive weapons for the Ukrainian population to defend the country's freedom.

The heads of State and Government discussed security and defence issues of the Member States, in particular the issue of the Strategic Compass, which was approved this week by the Ministers of Defence. On COVID-19, leaders discussed coordination issues to combat the pandemic, with a particular emphasis on international solidarity.

On EU external relations, the EU27 prepared the upcoming EU-China Summit and the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. "Today's leaders have risen to the occasion and agreed on conclusions that finally allow us to take immediate action to address an unsustainable situation. It was a great achievement for Europe and for our country. But the task does not end here. Now we must continue working on the medium and long-term measures and the solutions that Europe needs", concluded the president of the Government of Spain.

Non official translation