PARIS (Reuters) – France is against setting uniform targets for the reduction of gas consumption in Europe amid a looming energy crisis, said French energy ministry officials.

The future targets must notably take into account the export capacities of each country, the officials added, ahead of a meeting of European energy ministers on Tuesday in Brussels.

The European Commission proposed on Wednesday that all EU countries should cut their gas use from August to March by 15%. The target would initially be voluntary, but would become mandatory if the Commission declared an emergency.

But from the outset, the proposal met criticism from a range of countries. Spain, Portugal and Greece are among the most openly hostile, while diplomats say Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands and Poland also have reservations about giving the Commission the power to order cuts.

(Reporting by Caroline Paillez, Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the French national flag on the top of the Palais Brogniard, former Paris Stock Exchange, located at Place de la Bourse in Paris, France, March 9, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier