Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM) — June 26, 2008 – In a plenary vote the European Parliament has expressed its support for a strong, independent regulatory agency to oversee Europe’s energy markets along with enhanced powers and demonstrable independence of national regulators.
The Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) would be empowered to oversee and steer Europe’s gas and electricity markets towards a truly free and single market, based on clear market rules and a level playing field for all parties. The Agency would also be in charge of taking binding decisions on cross-border issues, and of providing independent advice to all institutions.
The governance arrangements foreseen for the Agency include a leaner and more efficient administrative board, and the clarification of the respective roles of the Board of Regulators, which is entrusted with sole responsibility for regulatory issues, and of the director, who is “bound” by the decisions of the Board.
The Agency proposal forms part of the 3rd Energy Package, which is aimed at providing more choice, investment and security for Europe’s energy. Other aspects of the package include “ownership unbundling” of transmission system operators, a radical overhauling of the gas industry, and other measures aimed at improving the functioning of the market.
The Parliament’s position has been welcomed by European energy regulators. Sir John Mogg, chair of the European Regulators Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG) commented: “A strong and independent Agency will play a key role in integrating Europe’s energy market and the European Parliament has seen fit to endow energy regulators with the tools necessary for achieving this goal.”