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Brussels, 6 December 2009

Ljubljana designated as seat of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators

Member States decided today that the new Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) will have its seat in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs welcomed this decision as it paves the way for the timely setting up of the Agency and thus the effective implementation of the Third Legislative Package on the Liberalisation of the Energy Markets. According to the founding regulation of ACER, the Agency needs to be fully operational as of 3 March 2011. ACER will then complement and coordinate the work of National Regulatory Authorities. Its competences will include the participation in the creation of European network rules, taking binding individual decisions on cross border energy infrastructure and giving advice on various energy related issues to the European institutions.

Energy Commissioner Piebalgs said, "Today's decision of the Member States to locate ACER in Ljubljana is an important element for the timely and correct implementation of the Third Package to liberalise the energy markets. This decision will allow the Commission together with Slovenia to prepare the establishment of ACER, to enable it to take up its duties from 3 March 2011 onwards. Today's decision is also a reminder to all stakeholders to get prepared to apply fully the Third Package following 3 March 2011."

The establishment of ACER is foreseen in the Regulation (EC) No 713/2009 which is part of the Third Energy Liberalisation Package. Accordingly, ACER will:

  • -  complement and coordinate the work of national regulatory authorities (NRAs),

  • -  participate in the creation of European network rules,

  • -  take, under certain conditions, binding individual decisions on terms and conditions for access and operational security for cross border infrastructure,

  • -  give advice on various energy related issues to the European institutions, and

  • -  monitor and report developments at the energy markets.

The Agency will thus be key to the functioning of the EU markets in electricity and gas.

According to Regulation (EC) No 713/2009 ACER needs to fulfil its tasks as of 3 March 2011 onwards. On the same day the other legislative acts forming the Third Energy Liberalisation Package are either to be transposed into the law of the Member States (the Electricity Directive 2009/72/EC and the Gas Directive 2009/73/EC) or become applicable (the Electricity Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 and the Gas Regulation (EC) No 715/2009).

The setting up of a new Regulatory Agency involves a number of administrative preparations, including the selection of buildings in the host country and the recruitment of staff. Today's selection of the seat is an important step in this process. Above all, it provides those who are applying for jobs in the Agency assurance as to the place where they will be working and living in the coming years. The first Director of the Agency is expected to be appointed in the first half of 2010.

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