On November 23 2012 a seminar on competition law enforcement in the energy sector held at the Energy Community Secretariat in Vienna saw the creation of the Energy Community Competition Network. Competition authorities from Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, Kosovo and Armenia, as well as representatives of the Energy Community Secretariat, signed a joint declaration on the etablishment of the network at the Energy Community.

The Energy Community entered into force in 2006. It aims to extend the EU internal energy market to Southeast Europe and beyond, and enhance the overall security of supply. Member states have committed to liberalise their energy markets and implement key EU legal acts in the area of electricity, gas, environment and renewable energy.

The Energy Community Competition Network is intended to facilitate coherent and consistent application and enforcement of competition law to the electricity, gas and oil sectors within the contracting parties and regional markets. Its aim is to create a framework to assist in:

  • opening up markets;
  • enhancing consumer welfare; and
  • fostering investment in the region.

The network will serve as a platform for promoting close cooperation and discussion, exchanging experience and developing best practices among the public institutions participating in the network, with respect to competition policy, legislation and enforcement of t EU competition law within the Energy Community.

Cooperation across the network will encompass the exchange of information relevant to the enforcement of competition law within the Energy Community, which may include:

  • adopting legislation on competition or energy markets;
  • opening new cases, issuing decisions or closing cases; exchanging expertise and experiences on the application and enforcement of competition rules in the energy sector;
  • discussing issues of common interest;
  • cooperating in investigations; and adopting best practices and guidelines on issues that could provide guidance to national competition authorities with regard to their enforcement activities.

Each competition authority will be invited to appoint a representative to attend Energy Community Competition Network meetings, which are held at least once a year.

The establishment of a competition network is only the first step in further activities that will be undertaken by the network.

Originally published on International Law Office

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