Research Handbook on EU Energy Law and Policy
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Research Handbook on EU Energy Law and Policy

Edited by Rafael Leal-Arcas and Jan Wouters

This authoritative Research Handbook presents, for the first time, a comprehensive overview of the most important research and latest trends in EU energy law and policy. It offers high-quality original contributions that provide state-of-the-art research in this rapidly evolving area, situated in the broader context of international economic law and governance.
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Chapter 4: EU energy and competition: analysis of current trends and a first assessment of the new package

Leigh Hancher and Francesco Maria Salerno

Abstract

With three waves of internal energy market legislation already adopted and a fourth just tabled, a key questions is ‘Do we have an institutional structure that can effectively deliver the ambitious goals of the EU energy and climate change policy?’ To answer this question, the chapter employs a benchmark comparison, using general EU competition law as a benchmark for an effectively enforced EU policy. It compares the current as well as the emerging institutional structure of EU energy market regulation with that of EU competition law, to assess the extent to which there is a ‘competition law-ization’ of energy market institutions. The chapter finds that the Third Package of 2009 created an institutional structure that shares a number of features with competition law, hence laying the foundations for an effective institutional structure. The new ‘Winter’ package unveiled in November 2016 builds on the institutional acquis. However, there are also new trends – in particular a shift to relying on tools that require more Member State co-operation with the Commission. This trend might limit the effectiveness of competition law-ization, unless such co-operation concerns aspects that are complementary to the core subject matter of competition law.

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