Get ready for the next big EU rift! Bloc ‘divided’ as crisis threatens to splinter unity

European Union: 'Tense' summit discussed by commentator

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While nine EU states have refused to alter the internal energy market, Emmanuel Macron has attempted to use the current crisis to introduce new measures in the bloc. Despite Mr Macron’s attempt to introduce more government intervention, Germany and eight other nations opposed using the current crisis to reform the internal market. Indeed, in a slap down for Mr Macron, a letter from the nine European states said they could not support measures which “conflict with the internal market for gas and electricity”.

Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Latvia, the Netherlands and Austria signed the letter with Germany who called for caution over intervention.

A letter from the nine countries said: “As the price spikes have global drivers, we should be very careful before interfering in the design of the internal energy market.

“This will not be a remedy to mitigate the current rising energy prices linked to fossil fuels markets.

“A well-managed energy transition is not the cause, but part of the solution to keep prices affordable and predictable.

“We cannot support measures that conflict with the internal market for gas and electricity.”

Such is the clash within the bloc that Brussels correspondent for Die Welt, Tobias Kaiser, claimed the energy price clash will cause the next “rift” in Europe.

He said: “The controversy over expensive energy divides the continent: some states want market interventions to protect their people from the costs, others warn against it.

“Germany is remarkably clear. And behind France’s stance, there is an agenda of their own.”

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France is supported in its pursuit of market controls by eastern and southern European states.

However, Simone Tagliapietra from the Brussels think-tank Bruegel claimed France is attempting to use this opportunity to push through its own idea on the energy market.

He said: “France is calling the loudest for a revision of the rules for the EU electricity market.

“It wants to use the current situation to push through its own ideas about an energy market.

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“The French government wants less free market and instead more planning, centralised decision-making and more government intervention.”

Energy ministers from across the bloc met in Luxembourg to discuss the energy crisis this week.

Although France, as well as states such as Spain, called for reforms, member states instead opted for temporary measures to aid vulnerable households and struggling companies.

The summit was called after gas prices surged across Europe.

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EU states have accused Russia of weaponising energy supplies to Europe.

While the Russian government has denied this, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, admitted the bloc relies too heavily on gas imports.

She said: “Europe is too dependent on gas and therefore our dependence on gas imports is excessive.

“This makes us vulnerable.

“Our response has to be based on the diversification of our suppliers.”

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