BRUSSELS, June 24 (KUNA) -- Leaders of the 27-member European Union (the European Council) concluded their two-day summit in Brussels on Friday after discussing the economic situation in Europe and energy prices.
The European Council called on the European Commission "to explore with our international partners ways to curb rising energy prices, including the feasibility of introducing temporary import price caps where appropriate," according to the concluding statement.
"In the face of the weaponisation of gas by Russia, the European Council invites the Commission to pursue its efforts as a matter of urgency with a view to securing energy supply at affordable prices," the statement reads. President of the European Council Charles Michel told a closing press conference that the US proposal on price caps on Russian oil will be a topic on the agenda of the G7 meeting next week to see what are the advantages of such a proposal.
On her part, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the joint press conference that the war in Ukraine is having a heavy impact, both on growth and on inflation in Europe. "We have seen Russia's disruptive action on gas. And we are seeing price increases beyond energy, on food and elsewhere in the economy. Therefore, we discussed how to mitigate the economic and social impacts," she said. "There will not be a return to cheap fossil fuels," she stressed.
Von der Leyen noted that she will present next month a common emergency plan to make sure that EU countries are prepared to face possible disruptions in gas supplies and noted that the EU will import 90 percent less Russian oil by the end of the year.
French President Emmanuel Macron told the same press conference said that there were signs of economic activity slowing down in Europe and noted that France has put a strategy to diversify gas imports.
Michel and von der Leyen both congratulated Macron for the achievements of France's rotating Council of the EU presidency, which ends at the end of this month.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the 19-member Eurogroup held a separate meeting and in a statement said they discussed the economic situation. "Russia's war Ukraine is fueling high global energy, commodity and food prices and increasing uncertainty, factors that are dampening growth and exacerbating inflationary pressures globally," the statement said.
"We remain united in our steadfast determination to increase the resilience of our economies," it added. (end)