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Towards a competitive European energy market

During a speech given at the Royal Institute for Foreign Affairs in London on 28 November 1994, Mr. Van Miert, Commissioner responsible for competition, highlighted the need for an increasingly competitive energy market in Europe. Recalling that energy is one of the few econo...

During a speech given at the Royal Institute for Foreign Affairs in London on 28 November 1994, Mr. Van Miert, Commissioner responsible for competition, highlighted the need for an increasingly competitive energy market in Europe. Recalling that energy is one of the few economic sectors for which a constructive Community policy does not exist, Mr. Van Miert discussed the need to create an internal energy market, which would take into account the requirements of efficiency, protection of the environment, security of supply, and liberalization. He pointed out that energy is a competitive factor for industries and, without an integrated market, distortions of competition would become increasingly apparent in the European Union. The aim of the Commission is to supply services to users in a commercial environment in which the users pay the full price of the resources they consume. In order to achieve this aim, the Commission's approach covers three areas: - Legislative approach: Submitting proposals for Directives establishing a licensing system for the production and distribution of energy; - Approach of the Court of Justice: Intensifying actions against import and export monopolies; - Use of the Treaty: Taking measures against Community enterprises that break the provisions of the Treaty, which prohibits anti-competitive measures. Mr. Van Miert insisted on the need for rapid progress in liberalizing the energy sector, in parallel with the liberalization of the internal market.