In this podcast, Liliana Eskenazi, of Allen & Overy LLP Paris, discusses the regulation of gas prices with reference to the opinion of Advocate General Paolo Mengozzi in the recent preliminary reference case C-121/15 – ANODE at the Court of Justice of the European Union on the regulation of gas prices in France. This set an important precedent and has the potential to impact national approaches to pricing controls for both the gas and electricity markets. Mengozzi’s opinion is particularly significant as it helped to delineate the terms of two rather conflicting issues for Member States.
The first of these is complying with the Gas Directive 2009/73/EC, as part of the third energy package of 2009, which aims to fully open national markets to achieve a competitive, secure and environmentally sustainable internal gas market in the EU. The second is meeting the requirements of public service in the general economic interest, which allows Member States the discretion to intervene in market pricing to ensure security of supply and territorial cohesion. How can these two requirements be reconciled to allow for competitive process? Liliana Eskenazi outlines the terms of the case and discusses AG Mengozzi’s opinion on the conditions for state intervention and how to navigate the obstacles to a fair and competitive market.