EU Internal energy market
- EU Electricity and gas markets
- EU Solid fuel market
- EU Nuclear energy market
- EU oil market
The first wing of the common energy policy aims to establish a genuine internal market for the products and services of the energy sector. Through the removal of barriers, whether of public or private origin, and the establishment of common rules, the opening up of energy markets should ensure the availability of energy on the most economic conditions for the end-users whether these are high energy consuming industries or just private individuals. The energy sector, a source of high value contracts, finds itself in the front-line of general public procurement policy and should benefit from the openness it provides [see section 6.3]. Fiscal alignment by the convergence of the real rates of excise taxes, pursued by taxation policy, is crucially important for the completion of the internal market for oil products [see section 14.2.3]. Last but not least, the introduction of competition in those sectors in which public monopolies persist could play a prime role in the integration of the markets and in the competitiveness of the EU economy [see section 15.5.4].
The establishment of a real internal market for energy also depends on the development of energy trans-European networks, which should "irrigate" the whole territory of the European Union with cheap, diversified - from the supply point of view - and environment-friendly energy [see section 6.8.]. This development is particularly important for the less favoured regions, which previously had no access to the big interconnected networks for gas and electricity, this being a cause but also a consequence of their underdevelopment [see section 12.1.1]. Interconnected networks are vital to the development of healthy competition and constitute a prerequisite to successfully creating an internal energy market. In this context, the Regulation on notifying the Commission of investment projects of interest to the Union in the petroleum, natural gas and electricity, including electricity from renewable sources, sectors aims at anticipating problems, promoting best practices and establishing greater transparency on the future development of the Union’s energy system [Regulation 617/2010, see section 19.1].
In general, the full application of EU internal market law - and in particular of provisions relating to the free movement of goods and services, to monopolies, to undertakings (firms, businesses) and to State aids - is the main path to a better integrated energy market. The integration of this market is fundamental for the competitivity of the economy of the EU and for the wellbeing of its citizens. But the energy sector does not fully benefit from this integration because the Member States still use the security of supply and the diversity of their energy situation as excuse for the preservation of their national monopolies and of their different regulatory frameworks. Ensuring the effective implementation of the internal energy market thus remains crucial.