Brussels auditors criticize the operation of the electricity market


The complex regulations of the EU, the regulatory instruments selected by the European Commission and the insufficiencies of co-governance have been some of the elements that have hindered and slowed down the implementation of an internal electricity marketaccording to the Court of Auditors of the EU.

The report that the auditors have presented this Tuesday notes that the EU has made little progress in its goal of connecting electricity markets and thus guarantee access to cheap energy for companies and citizens, despite their ambitious projections and their efforts, so that the risk on the EU electricity market now affects mainly the final consumer.

The EU auditors recall that it was in 1996 when the EU undertook a complex project to fully integrate national markets of electricity with the aim of offering the cheapest possible prices to consumers and increasing the security of the EU’s energy supply.

prices that differ

Almost ten years after the planned completion date of the project, 2014, the market is still regulated in practice by 27 national regulatory frameworks, with prices that differ between Member States and tariffs still strongly influenced by national taxes, instead of being open to the competition.

“Electricity markets in Europe could be much more integrateddespite the necessary and celebrated ambition of the EU”, according to the member of the court that has directed the audit, Mihails Kozlovs, who has warned that the energy crisis and the high cost of living make “even more pressing for the EU to finalize its internal market for electricity”.

The auditors attribute the delays to the Commission chose the network guidelines to be applied by conditions or methodologys, which transferred responsibility for enforcement to national competent authorities and the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

This complicated and delayed harmonization of cross-border trade rules, while the Commission did not sufficiently analyze the repercussions of its market design and governance decisions, as highlighted by the auditors in their impact assessment. However, the auditors found that the agency’s monitoring and reporting was poor, particularly due to insufficient data, scarce resources and poor coordination with Brussels.

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