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Putting an end to manipulations on energy markets will bring the bills down

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The Socialists and Democrats voted this week in favour of the revised Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT). The regulation adopted in plenary today is the final step to put in place an improved EU legislation putting an end to manipulations on the energy market. The Socialists and Democrats are convinced this will help both households and industry, thus delivering on their campaign ‘Bring the Bills Down’.
 

Patrizia Toia, S&D MEP and negotiator on REMIT in the European Parliament’s committee on energy, research and industry, said:
 
“The issues on the energy market started long before the Russian invasion against Ukraine, and the S&D Group was the first one asking the European Commission to address the problem. The war only brought the problems to their current acute phase where more and more people and businesses are struggling to pay their bills, especially vulnerable families and small and medium enterprises. One of the main causes for this unacceptable situation were the manipulations on the energy market within our Union. We are happy the Commission heard the calls of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament and proposed in return an update to REMIT.
 
‘In order for REMIT to achieve its goals, we reinforced the supervisory role of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). From now on, the agency will have the power to investigate cross-border cases affecting at least two member states and to take decisions on inspections, requests for information and authorisations of certain market participants. ACER will also be able to impose periodic penalty payments if market participants fail to provide the requested information.
 
“This is a considerable improvement from the current state of play where too many cases of evident market manipulations remain untreated at a national level. The periodic penalty payments, imposed by ACER, will be 3 % of the average daily turnover in the preceding business year or, in the case of natural persons, 2 % of the average daily income in the preceding calendar year.
 
“The Socialists and Democrats also built a progressive majority when it comes to players on the EU energy market coming from third countries. They will have to appoint a representative in a member state in which they are active on the wholesale energy market. In this way, ACER and the national regulators will know who to refer to for information in cases of doubt on manipulations on the EU wholesale energy market.
 
“We delivered more transparency and a stronger EU oversight on wholesale energy markets and this will ensure a fairer market for households and businesses.”
 
Dan Nica, S&D MEP and spokesperson in the in the European Parliament’s committee on energy, research and industry, said:
 
“Finally, with REMIT the manipulation of energy prices receives a strong answer, expected by all those who fell victims of these practices, which are deceptive and illegal.  Among these victims are companies, especially small and medium enterprises that had to pay unjustifiably high bills, with some of them going bankrupt.  As a result, many people lost their jobs throughout the EU. Many of our citizens gave up their other needs in order to be able to pay their energy bill and had to choose between eating and heating during the winter period. People need to know that all those who deceived them, all those who manipulated the energy market, will be punished as an outcome of the negotiations done by the S&D Group on this EU legislation and thanks to the vote of our group in plenary today. In terms of numbers, this means 15% of the turnover for the companies that engaged in such illegal manipulative practices and 5 million euros in fines for the executives of these companies.
 
“Reinforcing ACER is crucial to the success of the EU legislation we adopted today. This EU regulator has 379 cases pending, including many investigations that have not yet begun. ACER immediately needs proper funding, as we have big expectations from its work. ACER has to take the necessary measures against these companies that have ruined a significant part of the EU’s economy and consequently ruined so many lives and the well-being of European citizens.
 
“I want to see the first General Manager of an energy company to pay this 5 million euro in fines. Only then will they learn their lesson and stop stealing, lying and deceiving the European Union and its citizens!”

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