Euratex says as early as July 2021, the wholesale gas price in the EU was below EUR30/MWh and now the EU industry is facing gas and energy prices that have exceeded any coping capacity: from the record-high EUR320/MWh last August, the price has reached EUR127€/MWh today but is still more than 300% higher than business as usual prices.

Last month Euratex urged a cap on Europe’s gas prices and the adoption of a “European vision” in response to the Energy Council’s proposal to address high energy prices.

The body says the very existence of the European industry is at stake and with it the European sustainability agenda – and Europe’s capacity to implement it. Furthermore, Europe will lose its strategic autonomy, which guarantees essential goods and services are made available on the European Internal Market.

Euratex warns the EU could soon become totally dependent on foreign imports with no leverage to implement its sustainability agenda, let alone lead the transition to a circular economy on the international stage.

Dirk Vantyghem, Euratex director general, believes that “while the EU Industry is under immense, unprecedented pressure, a price cap at EUR275/MWh would be meaningless: the European industry will be permanently pushed out on the market. The industry is at the heart of the European way of life and the fundament of our social market economy. The EU must save its industry to save Europe. The moment to act is now.”

At present, Euratex states, the European industry is facing a dire international competition with the industry in China, India and the US working at energy prices of around US10$/MWh. In addition, these competitors are benefitting from sky-high subsidies by their own governments: the rollout of the US$369b industrial subsidy scheme is just the latest example.

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