European Union countries are studying a proposal to set a ceiling for gas prices below the proposed levels so far, at a time when the bloc's energy ministers are meeting today, Monday, in an effort to end a months-long dispute.
European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said upon her arrival to the meeting of energy ministers in the Union in Brussels today, that the agreement on a ceiling for gas prices in the European Union is within reach, as the ministers will try to agree on it.
"I strongly imagine that an agreement is within reach. Of course that requires a very strong desire for consensus on the part of everyone," she added.
Despite months of negotiations and the holding of two emergency ministerial meetings on the European Union's proposal to set a price ceiling, the EU countries failed to agree on it.
These countries differ among themselves on whether such a measure can alleviate the energy crisis in Europe, or that it will exacerbate it.
The Czech Republic - which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union - drafted a new agreement in an attempt to break the impasse on Monday, according to Reuters and Bloomberg.
The proposal includes activating a maximum if the contract prices of the Dutch Gas Trading Facilitation Center (TTF) in contracts for the nearest month exceed 188 euros per megawatt hour, for a period of 3 days.
The proposal is well below the level of €275 per megawatt-hour originally proposed by the European Commission, which proponents of imposing the cap - including Belgium, Poland and Greece - have described as too high.
These countries assert that the maximum limit must be less than 200 euros in order to succeed in dealing with the high gas prices, which caused high consumer bills.
Russia was the largest supplier of gas to the European Union before its war on Ukraine last February, and since then Moscow has cut off most of the gas it was sending to Europe, causing prices to rise and driving inflation to record levels.