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Opening up of energy markets: ten Member States have still not transposed the new EU rules
Commission Européenne - IP/05/319 16/03/2005
Brussels, 16 March 2005
Today the European Commission sent reasoned opinions to Germany, Belgium, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, Greece, Spain and Luxembourg for failure to transpose into national law either one or both of the two EU Directives on the internal gas and electricity markets. In October 2004 the Commission sent letters of formal notice to 18 countries and this is now the second stage in the infringement proceedings. The situation has improved, but the Commission regrets that ten Member States have still not transposed the Directives nearly two years after they were adopted in June 2003. "It's not enough to legislate: the Member States must apply the rules that they have made for themselves. The Commission will use all the means at its disposal to insist on this. This legislation is an essential step towards the completion of a truly competitive EU energy market and vital for the success of the Lisbon strategy" said Andris Piebalgs, the Commissioner responsible for energy.
The Commission decided to send reasoned opinions to ten Member States (see table attached) which, despite the letters of formal notice, have not yet transposed the Directive on the internal electricity market and/or the Directive on the internal gas market (1).
These two Directives are fundamental to the opening up of the electricity and gas markets in the EU. In practice, they have provided freedom of choice of supplier for industrial customers since 1 July 2004 and will provide this for domestic customers from 1 July 2007. The Directives combine opening up to competition while maintaining service quality, universal service, the protection of vulnerable customers and the objectives of security of supply.
The Directives will determine the shape of the EU energy market in the years to come and will serve as a basis for the development of energy partnerships with the EU's neighbours, in particular in the Western Balkans.
The Commission would point out that actual opening up to competition is not something that can be assessed from the moment the Directives are transposed but will be reflected by indicators such as the number of changes of supplier. This is why it is closely monitoring the integration and degree of opening up of the energy markets to competition and each year it publishes a benchmarking report (2), the last of which appeared in January 2005. Before 1 January 2006 the Commission will publish an overall report on the functioning of the market.
For further information on the situation regarding the transposition of these Directives, see table attached.
1 Directives 2003/54/CE et 2003/55/CE du 26 juin 2003
Etat de la communication des mesures de transposition
(MNE – mesures nationales d’exécution)