Monday, 15 December 2008

Yet another agency: The Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators - supplemented

While the Court of Auditors has criticised existing agencies for their financial abuses, the Council of the European Union proposes in a Common Position issued today to establish yet another EU agency.

This one is titled:
Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators
and, after long discussions its main function seems to be to co-ordinate the national gas and electricity regulators, advise the European Commission on market regulation for this sector, and develop "non-binding frameworks". The only really interesting part of the Draft Regulation establishing the agency is § 8:
For cross-border infrastructure, the Agency shall decide upon those regulatory issues that fall within the competence of national regulatory authorities, which may include the terms and conditions for access and operational security, only:
(a) where the competent national regulatory authorities have not been able to reach an agreement within a period of six months from when the case was referred to the last of those regulatory authorities; or
(b) upon a joint request from the competent national regulatory authorities.
This sounds for me as if the agency would get limited power to establish regulation on its own: If national regulators cannot agree on cross-border issues, the agency can take over responsibilities after six month, clearly a supranational element and not just an advisory function.

However, this will yet again be another agency which will cost a lot of taxpayers' money. We will witness yet another fight between the member states where to place the agency, and it risks to face the same financial criticism as others have been facing this year.

Merry Christmas, European Union!


Antal Dániel said...

Actually this has agency has been there in an informal way in the past years and I think it has proven to be useful, that's why they have given it a legal form.