Monday, April 28, 2003
Single market in electricity and gas finalised
At first reading Parliament had asked for the Commission proposal seeking to amend both the electricity and the gas directives to be split into two. Thursday's votes in committee are an important step towards the creation of a liberalised market in electricity and natural gas. The Council's common position had been awaited for some time. While MEPs welcome liberalisation, they seek to lay down conditions for the completion of the single market in electricity and natural gas. In particular they call for: - A close cooperation between the Commission and national supervisory bodies to ensure a level playing field as regards security of supply An external audit to ensure that no cross-subsidies are being paid - The unification of the different methods of financial management for decommissioning funds in the nuclear sector, to prevent distortions of the market The bills sent out by electricity companies to provide detailed information on their energy sources Turning to the rules on the natural gas market, MEPs call for an external audit as well as cooperation between the Commission and national regulatory bodies. In addition they want to ensure: - independence of transmission system operators or inter-transmission system generators - Optimal usage of transmission and storage resources for gas - Secure and environmentally sustainable supplies and sales of natural gas Lastly, on the conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity, MEPs stress the importance of reasonable transaction costs and the harmonisation of national network charges.
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