Weekly newsletter

Government to Reject Commission’s Energy Reforms

MTI-Hungary Today 2023.06.20.

Hungary will vote against the European Commission’s proposal on the reform of the electricity market, as it would take away the right of Member State governments to keep electricity prices low, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Luxembourg on Monday.

The minister underlined at a press conference during a break in the EU energy council that the situation on the continent’s energy market remains extremely fragile, with gas prices rising again, due to the war in Ukraine and the response for the sanctions.
Capacity to receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) is not being built fast enough and weather is a major uncertainty, not only for next winter but also for the water use needed this summer, Péter Szijjártó said.

“In this situation, the Hungarian government has a dual purpose and responsibility. First, we have to ensure the stability of Hungary’s energy supply, and second, we have to ensure that the results of the cuts in the energy bill are protected,”

he emphasized.
“Unfortunately, recently there has been a serious attack from Brussels on the Hungarian cuts,” he added, referring to the debate on the electricity market reform.
He explained that the European Commission’s proposal would take away the right of member states to protect their citizens from high energy prices, and that Brussels wants to take the right to allow a state to introduce a price cut.

“This is nonsense, because one of the main lessons of the last period was precisely that member states can help by being aware of the situation and reacting quickly,”

he underlined.

Szijjártó recalled that Hungary has previously won a case in the European Court of Justice on this issue, which shows that the body in Brussels has no right to take away this national competence.

“Hungarian people pay the lowest overheads in Europe. We want to maintain this situation and we will maintain it,” he warned. “For us, it is completely unacceptable that Brussels should take away this right, so we will of course vote against the draft of electricity market reform,” he added.

The minister also referred to the confrontation over nuclear energy, pointing out that the attacks had not gone away, but that a fairly strong nuclear coalition had been formed under the leadership of France, with Hungary among the participants.

“Without nuclear energy, there is no security of supply in Europe, without it, achieving our environmental objectives is also completely impossible,”

he said, underlining that the German government had again come forward with an initiative to impose sanctions on Russia’s Rostov-on-Don.
He stressed that half of Hungary’s electricity consumption is supplied by the Paks power plant, so if this proposal is formally tabled, the government will oppose it in the strongest terms.

The power plant in Paks. Photo: Hungary Today

He stressed that the German argument was that sanctions against the Russian nuclear industry would help Ukraine. “Of course we respect the interests of Ukraine, but we think that in a decision of the European Union, the interests of the EU member states should weigh much more heavily than the interests of non-EU countries,” he said.
Finally, Szijjártó also spoke about preparations for the next heating period, underlining that Hungary is better off than the European average in this respect, with natural gas storage facilities in Hungary already covering 39 percent of annual consumption, compared to 22 percent on the continent.

The need to develop transport routes in South-East Europe is essential for diversification. “As this is a physical issue, not a political dream, the European Commission has a responsibility here too,”

he emphasized.
He also called on Brussels to take action against the “seemingly rather coordinated and absolutely unfair increase in transit tariffs” by some EU member states and third countries.
“This is not a friendly gesture, it is not a fair gesture, it is not a gesture of cooperation based on mutual respect,” he said.

Foreign Minister Szijjártó in UAE for Energy Talks
Foreign Minister Szijjártó in UAE for Energy Talks

In the United Arab Emirates, Péter Szijjártó spoke about the importance of nuclear energy. Continue reading

Via MTI, Featured Photo via Facebook/ Szijjártó Péter

    [1536x1536] => Array
            [width] => 1536
            [height] => 1536
            [crop] => 

    [2048x2048] => Array
            [width] => 2048
            [height] => 2048
            [crop] =>