Law and Policy of the European Gas Market

Law and Policy of the European Gas Market

Monica Waloszyk

Law and Policy of the European Gas Market explores the law and politics of the EU gas market and in particular, the regulatory and competitive choices of institutions and bodies operating on the market, with a view to achieving a higher level of market integration. The book firstly addresses the latest stage in the EU gas market regulatory reform, while critically interpreting the preliminary effects of this reform. Secondly, it provides a comprehensive analysis of the topic due to the fact that it draws both on legislative and political science approaches. Monica Waloszyk concentrates on the latest legal developments on the EU gas market, while taking into consideration the geopolitical environment surrounding and fuelling such developments. Her insightful conclusions contribute to the discussion of the reassessment of the concurrent application of competition law and regulation in the EU gas market.

Chapter 2: The specifics of the EU gas market

Monica Waloszyk

Subjects: economics and finance, energy economics, environment, energy policy and regulation, law - academic, energy law, european law, regulation and governance


The introduction and spread of use of natural gas in the territories of Member States presents several specificities in terms of governmental choice of energy resources mixes, exploitation development in connection to petroleum products and environmental concerns. The rise of natural gas as an essential energy resource for the achievement of national energy policy objectives has been greatly influenced by three geopolitical developments. These succeeded one another in the three decades following 1970. The first development refers to the 1970s oil shocks. This pointed out the weaknesses in EU energy policy. In the aftermath of the shocks a need for energy diversification was triggered throughout Western European economies. Second, around the 1980s, major changes occurred within national patterns of governance. As a consequence, traditional employment policies, which favoured the production and use of a limited array of energy resources, were challenged and dismantled. This opened the door for the development of the natural gas industry. Third, starting with the 1990s, global environmental concerns emerged on the European political agenda and played a significant role in redefining the composition of the Member States’ energy mixes by making natural gas the fuel of choice for consumers interested in its low environmental impact. Protectionist approaches nurtured by some of the largest Member States towards traditional energy resources such as coal and nuclear energy were challenged by the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and most recently by the nuclear incident at Fukushima, in Japan.

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