Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Energy Council close to agreeing on liberalization of gas market

The Energy Ministers of the EU met in an extraordinary session of the Energy Council on 27 October 1997, with the sole subject on the agenda the proposed Directive on the liberalization of EU gas markets.

Although Ministers did not reach agreement on the proposal at the meeti...
The Energy Ministers of the EU met in an extraordinary session of the Energy Council on 27 October 1997, with the sole subject on the agenda the proposed Directive on the liberalization of EU gas markets.

Although Ministers did not reach agreement on the proposal at the meeting, they did make significant progress, with all participants confirming their desire to see agreement reached at the next Energy Council, on 8 December 1997. Discussions covered all of the points not yet settled, with progress achieved in a number of areas. Ministers asked their officials to continue efforts to settle the remaining points in order to allow agreement on a common position in December.

The liberalization of the internal market in gas is one of the key planks in the Community's energy policy. Following the adoption of the parallel Directive on the electricity market in 1996, the adoption of the gas Directive is one of the measures in the Commission's recent action plan for the completion of the single market. When adopted it will allow gas suppliers from any Member State to supply users in any other Member State, on the basis of transparent market principles.

The principle points still under discussion in the Council relate to the speed of market opening and the consumption thresholds at which the market will be opened. Another major question concerns the status of "take or pay" contracts under which suppliers tie themselves to producers for long periods in order to create the level of investment required by the producer to develop gas fields.
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top