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Working paper / Energy

Manufacturing the EU Energy Markets. The Current Dynamics of Regulatory Practice

Author(s): HANCHER Leigh, DE HAUTECLOCQUE Adrien

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ABSTRACT

This chapter aims to analysis the new dynamics at work in EU energy regulation. Since the publication of the European Commission’s ‘Sector Inquiry Report’ in January 2007, European energy companies have felt the cold wind of competition law - many for the first time. In addition, national competition authorities (NCAs) have been actively pursuing abusive market practices - sometimes making innovative use of competition law in the process. Certain energy giants have agreed to unbundle their transmission networks - even when their national governments opposed the inclusion of ownership unbundling in the draft ‘Third Package’ of electricity and gas legislation. In parallel, the Third Package envisages the creation of a new regulatory agency - ACER - to co-ordinate technical crossborder regulatory issues in the internal market. So who will be in the driving seat in the next decade - and will co-ordinated regulatory powers be the preferred approach to market design? Will regulatory rules co-exist alongside competition based controls or will the latter gradually supersede the former? This chapter will examine these critical issues.