Von der Leyen promises "deep" reform of the electricity market
On September 14, 2022, Ursula von der Leyen gave her third State of the European Union address. The opportunity for the President of the Commission to take stock of the past year, before the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
During her "state of the EU" speech, an exercise inspired by American politics, Ursula von der Leyen honored Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska, who was given a standing ovation by MEPs in the hemicycle.
She noted on her speech regarding the sanctions against Russia that "This is the price for Putin's trail of death and destruction. And I want to make it very clear, the sanctions are here to stay. This is the time for us to show resolve, not appeasement."
She noted that the EU want to reduce demand for electricity during peak hours to make supply last longer, and to bring prices down.
"This is why EU is putting forward measures for Member States to reduce their overall electricity consumption, but more targeted supported is needed. For industries, like glass makers who have to turn off their ovens. Or for single parents facing one daunting bill after another. EU Member States have already invested billions of euros to assist vulnerable households, but we know this will not be enough. This is why we are proposing a cap on the revenues of companies that produce electricity at a low cost." she said.
She also underlined that they are proposing a cap on the revenues of companies that produce electricity at a low cost. And she named hydrogen as a game changer for Europe in her speech.
"We need to move our hydrogen economy from niche to scale. With REPowerEU, we have doubled our 2030 target to produce ten million tons of renewable hydrogen in the EU, each year. To achieve this, we must create a market maker for hydrogen, in order to bridge the investment gap and connect future supply and demand. That is why I can today announce that we will create a new European Hydrogen Bank. It will help guarantee the purchase of hydrogen, notably by using resources from the Innovation Fund. It will be able to invest 3 billion euros to help building the future market for hydrogen. This is how we power the economy of the future. This is the European Green Deal." she said.
What is the State of the European Union debate?
Every September, the President of the European Commission comes to the European Parliament to discuss with MEPs what the Commission has done over the past year, what it intends to do in the coming year and its vision for the future. This is known as the State of the European Union debate or SOTEU.
Following the Commission President's presentation, MEPs, as the elected representatives of EU citizens, hold the Commission to account and scrutinise its work to make sure that the key concerns of Europeans are being addressed.
The State of the EU debate influences the Commission's work programme for the coming year.