BRUSSELS - The European Commission aims to launch its scheme for EU-wide joint purchases of gas "well before summer," European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic said on Monday.

Following a first meeting of EU representatives to coordinate the planned purchases, Sefcovic said that he had urged member states to swiftly engage with key market players in their countries to estimate the volumes of gas that would be needed to fill storages before the next winter.

The Commission aims to publish the aggregate demand to attract buyers in early spring, Sefcovic said.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten)