Ahead of the Energy Council meeting this Friday, the EPP Group has adopted a Position Paper calling for concrete measures to address the dramatic rise of prices. Energy and food prices, together with the rise of inflation, squeeze consumer purchasing power and businesses.
Among the proposals, EPP Group MEPs ask Member States to present a clear agenda for investments in EU energy infrastructure, a price cap on Russian fuels, to reduce VAT for basic food products to zero, and for better solidarity in the entire EU.
"We welcome that the European Commission came forward so quickly with a proposal addressing soaring energy prices. Now it is up to the Member States to come to an agreement and act in a united manner. We will not solve a problem if everyone goes in different directions", said Esther de Lange MEP, the EPP Group Vice-Chairwoman in charge of Economy and Environment.
"We need to call a spade a spade: the winter that lies before us will not be easy. In these circumstances, we must decrease the regulatory burden in Member States, which restricts energy production. Cutting red tape is important for the private sector and would also motivate households to manage energy efficiency. We call on the European Commission to immediately cease the burden on businesses by invoking a so-called ‘regulatory moratorium’ and delay those acts that would unnecessarily increase costs of businesses already under strain", said Christian Ehler MEP, the EPP Group Spokesman in the European Parliament's Energy Committee.
For the EPP Group, it is also crucial that the burden of rising prices is lifted from European families. "EU legislation already provides Member States with a range of options to combat high prices, for example by lowering energy taxes, excise duties and VAT on food. Member States should absolutely make full use of them. Zero VAT should apply to fruit, vegetables, dairy and other basic, primary food products in the entire EU, should prices continue to rise in the winter", said Markus Ferber MEP, the EPP Group Spokesman in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.
"Rising costs of living are not only a matter of energy policy, but also of monetary policy. After a long moment of hesitation, the ECB has finally decided to raise its interest rate. This is only a starting point. Now we need a substantial rate hike every meeting at least until Christmas. The ECB has waited far too long, but it is not too late to show the world that the ECB means business when it comes to fighting inflation", Ferber concluded.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States