European, Energy Community and Mediterranean Energy Regulators Further Intensify Cooperation
Vienna, 28 June 2018
Yesterday’s first trilateral workshop of the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER*), the Energy Community Regulatory Board (ECRB**) and Mediterranean Energy Regulators (MEDREG***) kicked-off future closer cooperation of the three regional regulatory bodies. The event follows a series of previous joint activities and events, among which common reports on quality of supply.
“Tightening cooperation with CEER and MEDREG is in our natural interest having in mind the common membership of regulators in CEER, MEDREG and ECRB as well as similarities between the regional market integration targets of the EU, Energy Community and the Union for the Mediterranean”, ECRB President Giorgi Pangani underlined.
The trilateral workshop focussed on consumer protection and developed common regulatory views on necessary elements of energy bills and price comparison tools. Focus was also put on new consumer-related elements envisaged under the Clean Energy package. “Creating benefits for consumers must be the central focus of all regulatory activities and, thus, is also a core pillar of CEER, ECRB and MEDREG activities. Building on previous cooperation, further alignment of our related work on retail markets and consumers is essential to ensure equal customer protection standards in the EU and beyond”, CEER Vice President Ms Anne Vadasz Nilsson noted.
Intermingled in smaller groups, participants from the three regulatory associations were able to raise concrete issues and seek solutions together to the challenges that are faced with in terms of delivering consumer-friendly information, ensuring well-functioning retail markets and addressing customers’ most frequent complaints. As an element of further enhanced cooperation, MEDREG and ECRB under their 2018 Work Programmes agreed to develop a first joint deliverable on the management of customer complaint and dispute settlement in the Mediterranean and the Balkans, which will be assessed and translated into recommendations. “Despite different legal competences of MEDREG and ECRB regulators, we share the common goal of establishing competitive energy markets that deliver benefits for end-users. Learning from each other’s experience enriches our related regulatory performance”, MEDREG Vice President Ms Gülefşan Demirbaş stressed.
Mr Janez Kopač, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat hosting the trilateral event welcomed the enhanced cooperation of CEER, ECRB and MEDREG regulators. “Interconnected energy systems have to perform on common rules, irrespective of regional or political borders. All participants to one internal energy market form one Energy Community. Including our Mediterranean partners in our pan-European market reform discussions is essential for this process”, Mr Kopač highlighted.
* CEER was established in 2000 for the cooperation of the independent energy regulators of Europe. It seeks to facilitate the creation of a single, competitive, efficient and sustainable EU internal energy market. CEER's work complements (and does not overlap) the work of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). The Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) represents 36 energy regulatory authorities, comprising 29 Members and 7 Observers. CEER membership is open to all energy National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) of the European Union or the European Economic Area (EEA), which have been designated as such by a Member State or the EU. In addition, CEER also welcomes EFTA (European Free Trade Association) and EU accession countries' regulatory authorities to participate fully in our work as Observers. By widening the scope of our geographical coverage, CEER has defined a broader vision of our role as the European association of independent energy regulators, working to promote sound regulatory practices and competitive markets within and beyond the Union's borders. CEER's motto is fostering energy markets, empowering customers. CEER's work includes international cooperation, smart grids, sustainability, Distribution System Operators and customer issues.
** ECRB is the independent regional body of energy regulators in the Energy Community and beyond. ECRB activities builds on three pillars: providing coordinated regulatory positions to energy policy debates, harmonizing regulatory rules across borders and sharing regulatory knowledge and experience. ECRB is an institution of the Energy Community. The Energy Community is a union of eight members from South East Europe and the Black Sea region and the European Union. ECRB promotes the development of a competitive, efficient and sustainable regional energy market that works in public interest. A harmonised and reliable regulatory framework is essential for building trust of investors and customers. Our mission is to facilitate this process for the benefit of Energy Community businesses and citizens. ECRB’s advice contributes to achieving the goal of establishing a single energy market in the Energy Community and beyond by building a bridge between the technical needs of the regulated industry and the interest of customers.
***MEDREG is the Association of Mediterranean Energy Regulators, which brings together 25 regulators from 21 countries, spanning the European Union (EU), the Balkans and North Africa. Mediterranean regulators work together to promote greater compatibility of the regional energy markets and legislations, seeking progressive market integration in the Euro-Mediterranean basin. Through constant cooperation and information exchange among members, MEDREG aims at fostering consumer rights, energy efficiency, infrastructure investment and development, based on secure, safe, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable energy systems. MEDREG is co-funded by the European Union.