Towards a Single Energy Market
Edited by Jean-Michel Glachant and François Lévêque
Chapter 1: The Electricity Internal Market in the European Union: What to do Next?
Jean-Michel Glachant and François Lévêque INTRODUCTION The construction of the European Union’s (EU) ‘internal energy market’ is still a work in progress. It might even stall. Given current political, institutional and business conditions in Europe, there are no guarantees that the dynamics of this construction will not dissipate, as in the United States, or that the internal market will not fracture into ‘national blocks’ that might be permanent or persist for a long time. This is exactly what we think must be avoided. This chapter suggests priority actions and secondary improvements in order to sustain the dynamics of the internal market’s construction, from now on and in the near future. It also endeavours to explain the underlying rationale behind these recommendations by describing several aspects of the present state of the internal market’s construction and by determining the factors preventing its progress, as well as those facilitating it. A major constraint has determined our thinking and writing of this chapter. We have excluded the possibility that a new package of European directives and regulations calling for stronger convergence in the construction of the EU internal energy market should be issued. In fact, such an event is not likely to occur. We have therefore chosen to rely on two other levers: the conscientious application of the provisions of the Second Directive and companion regulations, and the promotion of reinforced regional cooperation agreements that will lead to the voluntary opening of some domestic markets to regional ‘mini internal markets’....
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