Chapter 7: Conclusion
It has been shown in the above how the development of the European legislation addressing the single EU gas market is influenced by the constantly evolving geopolitical environment, which serves as its background. Here the regulatory preferences of third-country suppliers, Member States’ different levels of gas import dependencies and attachment to traditional gas market relationships, and the rigidity and scarcity of the gas pipeline grids interact with a weak energy regulator, with questionable abilities to foster market interconnection and integration, and a European Commission with redefined gas market competences, whose ambition for retaining an overall control of the market appears to have contributed to the undermining of its internal gas market project. The coexistence of law and politics in the EU gas market acts as the main cause and facilitating factor for gas market regulation choices and influences the adoption and evolution of the afferent gas legislative framework and institutional arrangements. This is primarily reflected in the current EU gas market structure and EU gas market design. The EU gas market structure continues to entail both a national and a European dimension. It has been shown that the weak interconnection among Member States’ gas markets and the lack of an energy external representation of the EU render the bidimensional European gas market problematic. Hence, in time it is advisable that the EU reinforces its ability to speak with one voice with regard to external energy matters.
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