“The future role of the Regional Initiatives in the framework of the 3rd Liberalisation Package conference”, a joint conference by the European Commission and ERGEG 17 November 2009 in Brussels
The European Commission/(ERGEG) conference “The future role of the Regional Initiatives in the framework of the Third Legislative Package” took place in Brussels on Tuesday 17 November 2009.
At this conference, more than 180 participants engaged in lively discussions on: * the new regional integration obligations on Member States, regulators and grid operators with the adoption of the 3rd Energy Legislative Package * how implementing the 3rd Package will be a mix of the "top-down" from Brussels and the regional "bottom-up" approaches, * how the 3rd Package transforms the basis of the Regional Initiatives from what is essentially a voluntary process to one where (binding) codes will be adopted * Congestion Management and on Investment.
In the afternoon the focus was on the reality of regional cooperation and the challenges of moving from national to European markets through regional market integration. This session chaired by MEP Ek, included a view from one MEP, from Member State Energy Ministry as well as views from the Commission and ERGEG. * The European Commission's consultant presented their initial findings of their review of progress of the ERGEG Regional Initiatives. * ERGEG called for a "Strategic Vision" in delivering a more integrated Europe in its public consultation on its Strategy Paper. Also for public consultaton is the Regional Initiatives Progress Report which outlines concrete results across the 7 electricity and 3 gas regions, and seeks stakeholders' views on key issues such as coherence and convergence across the regions.
Some interesting questions raised by ERGEG (in these 2 consultations) include: * Is a high level/strategic vision needed to set the overall direction of market integration? Would it delay or could facilitate progress? * Are the 7 existing electricity regions of the ERGEG Regional Initiatives too many, should they evolve to fewer regions and if so when and how? * Should the regional projects which lie outside of the ERGEG Regional Initiatives (e.g. Pentalateral Group) be incorporated in some way in the overall approach of achieving a single European energy market?