On 8 November, the Energy Community Secretariat had objected to the adoption of a Law on Administration which would have significantly reduced the independence of the national energy regulatory authority of Montenegro, REGAGEN.
The proposal had been tabled by the government upon recommendation of a consultancy programme for structural reforms of the administrative sector of Montenegro. In its correspondence to the Parliament of Montenegro, the Secretariat stressed that administrative reforms may not run counter to the obligations of Montenegro under the Energy Community acquis communautaire among which true regulatory independence as driver for successful energy market liberalization ranks very high. Following the intervention by the Energy Community Secretariat, later supported also by the European Commission, the energy regulatory authority was exempted from the Law on Administration. REGAGEN’s full independence guaranteed by the domestic Energy Law therefore remains safeguarded.
“The reform of the Montenegrin Energy Law in January 2016 significantly strengthened the independence of REGAGEN whose autonomy has been subject to infringements before. The regulator also in practice today ranks among the most independent and proactive Energy Community regulatory authorities... Any limitations to its independent performance would have been a severe backlash against these achievements. We are delighted to see that Montenegro takes its obligations under the Energy Community law seriously”, Dirk Buschle, Deputy Director and Legal Counsel of the Energy Community Secretariat underlined.