EU leaders may give green light to energy-crisis relief plans

European Union leaders are poised to authorize next week emergency measures by member states to blunt the impact of the unprecedented energy crisis on the most vulnerable consumers and companies.

Heads of government will likely invite EU nations and the European Commission to “make the best use” of a toolbox published on Wednesday to provide short-term relief to households and businesses, according to a draft statement seen by Bloomberg News. The energy crisis forced its way to the October 21-22 EU summit after gas and power prices surged to record levels amid supply shortages.

The leaders are also set to call on ministers and the Commission to consider medium and long-term measures “to mitigate excessive price fluctuations,” increase the EU’s energy resilience and ensure a successful transition to a green economy, according to the statement. The communique is due to be discussed by representatives of member states on Friday and may still change before adoption by the heads of government.

The European Union has a limited scope to enact a joint plan to alleviate the impact of the crisis, with national governments designing their own emergency responses. Some countries called on the EU executive to propose new measures, a move that could be difficult given varying energy sources and strategic interests of member states.

The European Investment Bank will be encouraged to “look into its capital headroom to speed up investment in the green transition,” the draft showed.

The toolbox presented by the Commission earlier this week included steps such as tax cuts and state aid for companies. The leaders will probably acknowledge that it “contains useful measures.”

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