Brussels, my love: petrol price and corruption scandal | Popgen Tech
The Euronews Brussels bureau brings you its eighth episode of a new talk show that aims to break down European news and politics to make it more accessible to viewers.
This episode of the show is a Christmas special with panelists Eric Mamer, the spokesperson for the European Commission, Eva Hrncirova, spokesperson for the Czech Permanent Representation to the EU, and Kelly Agathos, a Greek-American artist, host and founder of The Schuman Show – a monthly comedy show about European affairs set in Brussels.
The talk show was recorded just before the EU institutions closed for the Christmas break and zoomed in on the fact that the six-month Czech EU presidency had just come to an end.
One of the most important achievements of the Czech Presidency was to reach an agreement on a petrol price cap after months of talks and meetings. The cap can be activated from mid-February if some gas prices climb above €180 per megawatt hour during at least three consecutive trading days.
However, Kelly Agothos told the panel she wasn’t sure how the cap would affect her bills.
“Everyone around me has to pay more for energy and I followed the agreement, but I don’t find it so clear how it affects me as a consumer. What does the cap of €180 per megawatt hour actually mean to me? Because of what I understand, it’s more of a market measure.”
“And I asked three journalists, I asked people inside to try to understand it. And I’m not the average EU citizen. I have access,” she said.
Eric Lamer said consumers won’t feel the relief until next spring.
“Your current energy bill is based on what your suppliers paid for the gas last spring. So the idea here is to make sure that the price you’ll pay next winter is limited, basically, thanks to this agreement, thanks to the fact that we have put together a joint purchasing platform, which means that they will buy it together and therefore, among other things, get a better deal,” he said.
The panel also reflected on the recent alleged corruption scandal that has stained EU institutions in Brussels and talked about what it was like to communicate the work of an organization like the European Union.
“The issue for us is that we don’t necessarily have all the answers, because of course many of the developments are taking place elsewhere,” Eric Mamer told the panel.
Kelly Agothos emphasized the importance of simplifying messaging.
“I think there’s a lot of assumed knowledge when there’s a press release,” she said. “When it’s on a website that’s an EU institution website, the information that’s out there is usually full of jargon or it assumes prior knowledge or it’s a bit hard to find what you’re looking for.”
Watch our special Christmas edition of Brussels, my love in the video player above.