European Commission proposes to strengthen regional cooperation

European Commission proposes to strengthen regional cooperation



Cross-border regional energy cooperation delivers lower prices and higher security of supply, and is a crucial building block of a competitive European Single Energy Market.

Climatlantic //

The European Commission, in its Communication "The future Role of Regional Initiatives" identifies new tasks of Regional Initiatives such as the development of cross-border infrastructure and the implementation of the Third Energy Package including network codes. It also proposes a new governance structure of existing Regional Initiatives and an adjustment to their geographical scope to make regional cooperation more effective.

The European Commissioner for Energy GŁnther Oettinger said: "The Regional Initiatives have a key role in creating a truly integrated single energy market as they favour a strong cooperation including on infrastructure. We have to use their potential wisely and make sure that we reap all the benefits a well-targeted and effective regional cooperation can offer."
The Regional Initiatives were initiated in 2006 by the European Commission and the European Regulators' Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG) as an intermediate step from national markets to European scale which would favour further integration.

In its Communication, the Commission proposes that the Regional Initiatives concentrate on more targeted goals, in particular on the following actions:
- accelerate the implementation of the 2nd and 3rd legislative energy package, including network codes
- ensure competitiveness through market coupling by 2015 allowing lower price for cross-border energy
- launch pilot testing to experiment new ideas which could then be used at the EU scale, for example on Smart Grids
- identify regional infrastructure priorities and coordinate cross-border investments to ensure security of supply and help cope with possible gas crisis
- promote development of renewable energy

The European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) should monitor and coordinate the work of Regional Initiatives to ensure greater coherence of the regions' work programmes.