Some European Union member states are acting “very selfishly” to deal with the energy crisis, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview with RockedBuzz via Euronews.
His critical comments come as EU energy ministers once again failed to approve a stalled proposal to impose the first cap on gas prices.
Poland is a major proponent of the price cap, along with Greece, Belgium, Italy and Malta.
Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Estonia and Luxembourg are considered highly skeptical of the untested measure, the worrying security of supply could be endangered.
Discussions are focusing on how high or how low the limit should be set, among other issues: The European Commission initially proposed 275 euros per megawatt hour. This infuriated the pro-cap factionwhich prefers a range around 200 euros, a level rejected by the anti-cap group.
“Some countries, which have to deal with this crisis from the point of view of gas and oil prices, are doing it in a very, very selfish way. They don’t see the bigger picture,” Morawiecki told RockedBuzz via Euronews. Wednesday evening.
“The cap on gas prices should be somewhere in the middle of our expectations and some expectations of Germany, the Netherlands and others. However, the way they have stubbornly blocked this (proposal) is quite worrying to me because I think we are still far from finding a compromise on the maximum gas price”.
Morawiecki urged his fellow leaders to go beyond their political differences and find a “common denominator” that could prevent the record prices seen over the summer.
“We expect the European Commission to be bolder and more decisive in finding an adequate level of gas prices,” said the Polish prime minister.
“I expect the European solution to be worked out as quickly as possible, and therefore this solution could be good for Europe’s economy and growth this year and in the following years.”
Discussions over the gas cap will continue on Monday, when EU energy ministers are expected to meet again in Brussels.
Brussels “brutally intervenes”
In his extensive interview with RockedBuzz via Euronews, Morawiecki touched on the war in Ukraine, the sanctions on Russia and the continuing fracture of the rule of law pitting Brussels against Budapest and Warsaw.
When asked whether European citizens were paying too high a price for the impact of the sanctions, Morawiecki was quick to point out that “the highest price in Europe is paid by Ukraine” and rejected the idea of offering “guarantees of security” in Moscow, as President Emmanuel Macron of France said controversially suggested.
“Ukrainians are dying for our freedom and for our security and for a better peace across Europe,” Morawiecki said.
“Russia, being a superpower, weakened, but still with nuclear weapons and a strong military, really doesn’t need any security or any type of guarantee because it has the guarantees in its own hands. The only country that needs of support and guarantees for its sovereignty and security is Ukraine”.
Morawiecki came to his defense of Hungary this week it became the first EU country to have part of its EU funds frozen under a new rule of law conditionality mechanism.
“Regarding the European Union’s approach to Hungary, I think that since Hungary has a rather conservative government, that’s one of the reasons Hungary is so attached,” he said.
“A significant portion, if not all, of the attacks are unwarranted.”
Morawiecki also criticized the European Commission for launching legal action against Poland over a series of judicial reforms which, according to the EU executive, pose a threat to the separation of powers.
Although Poland has long argued that reforms are needed to eliminate what it claims are remnants of the communist era, the government has agreed to dismantle the disciplinary regime of judges, declared illegal under EU law, in order to unblock the country’s €35 billion COVID-19 recovery plan.
No money has yet been disbursed as the Commission is not fully satisfied with the changes offered by Warsaw.
“We are always targeted by the European Commission, in the last two years, because they don’t agree to repair, to reform the post-communist judicial system,” Morawiecki said.
“They are still intervening very brutally beyond their competence, which is not included in the (EU) treaties. And we talk about it quite loudly. That’s why I’m so surprised by their approach in recent years.”