The Energy Acquis under the Energy Community Treaty and the Integration of South East European Electricity Markets: An Uneasy Relationship?
Title: The Energy Acquis under the Energy Community Treaty and the Integration of South East European Electricity Markets: An Uneasy Relationship?
Citation: Bram DELVAUX, Michaël HUNT and Kim TALUS (eds), EU Energy Law and Policy Issues, 2nd ed., Rixensart, Euroconfidentiel, 2010, ELRF Collection, 51-86
For the past three decades, the attainment of an internal energy market has been at the centre stage of European Energy Policy. The recent adoption of the Third Energy Package is a further demonstration of this course of action. The growing need for Europe to tackle a number of concerns be they related to energy security or environmental protection form the rationale behind this pursuit. Today, if EU energy policy is first founded on the effective realization of an internal energy market, it also becomes increasingly visible that the EU cannot simply rely on this approach. In order to deal with the imperatives of a coherent energy policy, the elaboration of an external energy policy is regarded as a sine qua non at the institutional level. The recent Second Strategic Energy Review and the Energy Security and Solidarity Action plan it contains emphasizes the importance of a greater focus on the EU’s energy international relations. Amongst the initiatives established in regard of such a process, the Treaty establishing the Energy Community for South East Europe (Energy Community Treaty - EnCT) of October 25, 2005 constitutes a clear priority. If the Treaty has been acclaimed at the institutional level, its limited exposure does not appear proportional to its political, economic and legal implications. This contribution aims at providing a clear picture of the process behind the Treaty, its legal substance as well as considering the adequacy of this new initiative. Indeed, the Treaty is built upon the belief that the EU energy acquis can be called upon in order to create a regional energy market in the South East of Europe. Once established, this regional market would then be integrated to the wider European internal energy market. If the process appears appealing and simple on paper, a number of issues surround its pertinence and achievability. Considering the specific case of electricity, this study first underlines some limits of the current European regulatory framework in relation to the achievement of an efficient European electricity market. As a response to these observed shortcomings, the Third Energy Package will then be scrutinized so as to underline possible solutions. The current state of play on European electricity markets having been etched, an assessment of the situation in South East European (hereinafter SEE) countries sheds some light as to the difficulties that currently exist on their electricity markets and restrict the emergence of a South East European regional electricity market. Through the comparison of the European Internal Electricity market and the situation that prevails in SEE countries, this study questions the coherence of the Energy Community enterprise. Through such an analysis, a number of lessons as to the possibility to duplicate the internal energy market to neighbouring and developing countries will hopefully emerge.
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