STRASBOURG (dpa-AFX) - With a reform of the European electricity market, the members of the European Parliament want to protect consumers more strongly against price fluctuations. Citizens should have the right to both fixed-price contracts and contracts with dynamic prices, according to the Parliament's negotiating position set out in Strasbourg on Thursday. Consumers are also to be provided with more information about the options they conclude.

The parliamentarians want to prohibit suppliers from unilaterally changing the terms of their contracts. The aim is to ensure that all consumers, including small businesses, benefit from long-term, affordable and stable prices and to mitigate the effects of sudden price shocks, they said. It should also prohibit the interruption of power to those in need of protection in the event of disputes between utilities and customers, it said.

The basis for the parliamentary position was a legislative proposal by the EU Commission in March. With the reform of the electricity market, the Brussels authority wants to avoid exploding prices for consumers and promote the expansion of renewable energies. Accordingly, long-term contracts for power generation from renewable energies and from nuclear power are to be required in particular. Before the reform can come into force, the EU member states still have to reach agreement with the EU Parliament.

However, there is not yet a common position among the countries - their positions diverge widely in some cases. According to EU diplomats, there have been fears in the past that the French nuclear industry could be disproportionately favored. According to the report, it was mainly Germany and France that were at odds with each other in the past.

Electricity prices had risen extremely last year. One of the reasons for this was that at times around half of France's nuclear power plants were out of action. In addition, the increase was a consequence of rapidly rising gas prices due to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine./red/DP/mis