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EU Electricity Network Codes: Good Governance in a Network of Networks

FSR Energy Union Law Webinar Series with Saskia Lavrijssen & Thomas Kohlbacher (TILEC)

This webinar will look at the development of the governance structure of the internal energy market through the lens of the EU network codes and guidelines. These EU-wide rules govern all cross-border electricity market transactions and system operations. Does the governance structure employed in the development of these codes meet the criteria of good governance – namely transparency, participation and accountability? Saskia Lavrijssen and Thomas Kohlbacher from Tilburg University jointly assess this issue in the webinar. In particular, they focus on the extent to which input from stakeholders is taken into account in the network code development process and the legal instruments which can facilitate or hinder this process. Are there adequate legal accountability mechanisms in place to ensure effective network governance? Does the framework need to be revised?

According to Lavrijssen and Kohlbacher, the current legal accountability mechanisms are insufficient to guarantee adequate responsiveness to stakeholder input, due to the rigid standing criteria for direct actions at the European Court of Justice against network codes adopted as delegated acts by the Commission. The possibility for judicial review as regards the roles of various network members in the development of network codes is also curtailed, in particular regarding soft law instruments used by ACER and ENTSO-E.