European Commission proposals aimed at further liberalisation of the EU's electricity and gas markets are too far-reaching, according to the findings of a consultation organised by the Committee of the Regions' Subsidiarity Monitoring Network.

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The majority of respondents stated that it would be better to properly implement the current legal framework, adopted in 2003, and to provide more practical help to those Member States and regions which have not yet fully transposed this legislation.

They almost unanimously rejected the idea of setting up an Agency for the Cooperation of European Regulators, arguing that the Commission had failed to take proper account of the established role of national regulators in this area. The proposals should focus more on improving cooperation between the national regulators and the Commission itself, many argued.

The respondents also reacted sceptically to the Commission's tougher proposals on ownership unbundling (the separation of network activities from supply and production), stating that it had not presented adequate economic qualitative or quantitative evidence to show they are necessary to ensure proper market functioning.

The Subsidiarity Monitoring Network consultation took place from 19 September-23 November 2007. Among those providing feedback were: Bavarian State Government (DE), Basque Government (ES), Basque Autonomous Parliament (ES), Lower Saxony State Parliament (DE), Government of the State of Hessen (DE), State Parliament of Vorarlberg (AT), State Parliament of Carinthia (AT), Parliament of Brussels-Capital Region (BE), Regional Government of the Azores (PT) and Austrian State Governors' Conference.

To read the Subsidiarity Monitoring Network's consultation report on the 3rd Energy Package in full, click here: EN/FR/DE.

Michel Lebrun, Vice-President of the Wallonia Parliament (BE/EPP) will present a draft opinion on the topic at a meeting of the CoR's Commission for Sustainable Development (DEVE) on 10 January.

Subsidiarity Monitoring Network

The network was created in 2006 to encourage exchange of information on European Commission policy documents and proposals. The 87 network partners include a national parliament, regional governments and regional parliaments, local and regional authorities, councils of large metropolitan areas and medium-sized towns, and associations. More information:

The Committee of the Regions

Around two-thirds of EU legislation is implemented by local and regional authorities in Member States. The Committee of the Regions is a consultative body, which was created in 1994 to give representatives of local government a say over the content of these laws. The CoR organises five plenary sessions a year, where its 344 members vote on reports, known as opinions, issued in response to proposed legislation. The European Commission, which initiates EU laws, and the Council of Ministers, which determines the final content of the legislation (usually in tandem with the European Parliament), are obliged to consult the CoR on a wide range of policy areas including the environment, employment and transport.
For more information, please contact:
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Previous Press Releases issued by the Committee of the Regions

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