Seventeen EU member states’ gas and electricity markets are not open enough, says the European Commission. It is taking legal action against the 17 for failing to properly adopt or apply the rules which aim to open the 25-nation bloc’s energy sector to more competition. Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs was asked if this was a direct result of last month’s new concerted policy drive:
“No, it is just coincidence, it is just coincidence. But I think from the European Council it was a very important message that the heads of state and governments passed us, saying they want a completely liberalised market, a European market, by first of July 2007, where all customers should be elligible for choosing their suppliers.”
Britain, Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Poland were among the countries being warned. The EU is trying to create a better integrated gas and electricity market, with more consumer freedom to choose what company supplies them. Some states were also criticised for failures relating to biofuels, oil stocks, and the use of renewable energy sources for electricity.