The European Commission wants to limit the gas price to 275 euros per megawatt hour. The much-discussed and controversial price cap should put an end to “excessively high” gas prices.

    The maximum price must apply to the so-called TTF, the Dutch price index that sets the tone in Europe. The committee proposes that the ceiling should take effect automatically from 1 January if the gas price peaks and is much higher than that in the rest of the world.

    If that is the case for two weeks in a row, trading at a higher price is no longer allowed. If the price drops again, or if the difference with Asia, for example, becomes smaller, the limit will automatically expire again.

    If the price cap leads to tankers leaving Europe to earn more elsewhere, the commission can also suspend it.

    Debate about maximum price has been raging for months

    The fierce debate about a maximum price for gas has been raging for months in Brussels and the EU member states. A majority of the 27 EU countries have been calling for it for some time. But the committee, like the Netherlands and heavyweight Germany, saw little in this for a long time.

    The day-to-day management of the EU always held back the boat with the reasoning that the member states should first agree before it would develop and submit a proposal.

    Prevent washing out

    Proponents of a ceiling such as Belgium, Greece and Italy want the price ceiling not to remain a paper tiger, but to actually be activated a number of times a year. They therefore think of a much lower limit.

    The committee is mainly aiming to prevent excesses such as those in August. Then the gas price remained well above 200 euros per megawatt hour for weeks and peaked at around 350 euros.