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European Parliament votes to support new rules strengthening the EU internal energy market
Commission Européenne - IP/09/622 22/04/2009
Brussels, 21 April 2009
President Barroso and Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs have welcomed today's vote of the European Parliament backing new rules to strengthen the EU's internal energy market. The new legislation is expected to give consumers more protection and the benefit of the lowest possible energy prices while offering companies the chance to compete on a level playing field. In addition the legislative package will promote sustainability by stimulating energy efficiency.
Commission President, José Manuel Barroso said, "This is a major step towards a truly integrated European energy market, and the right European Union response to the structural challenges we face. It is good news for business and citizens alike who need competitive prices and security of energy supply. The adoption of the internal market proposals shows that Europe can deliver on its promises".
"This is about getting a better deal for both consumers and businesses. Consumers will benefit from better protection and the lowest possible prices, while companies will have a chance to gain more business in a competitive market. A clear regulatory framework for a functioning internal gas and electricity market will help the EU to meet the challenges of climate change, increased energy import dependence and global competitiveness," said Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.
The main objective of the legislative package is to put in place the regulatory framework needed to make market opening fully effective and to create a single EU gas and electricity market in the interest of achieving the lowest possible energy prices and better security for the citizens and the industry of the European Union. The package promotes sustainability by stimulating energy efficiency and guaranteeing that also small companies, in particular those investing in renewable energy, have access to the energy market. A competitive market will contribute to greater security of supply by improving the conditions for investment in power plants and transmission networks, and thus helping to avoid interruptions in power or gas supplies. Ensuring fair competition between EU companies and third country companies is another key objective of this new legislation. It is expected that the Council will formally endorse the text approved today by the Parliament within the next few months.
Today's vote of the Parliament preserves the key elements of the Commission's proposal of 19 September 2007.
The vote of the EP also strengthens the Common Position adopted by the Council in January 2009 on several key issues:
The package is composed of: