The concept of a single market based on effective competition constitutes the fundamental basis of EU policies across a wide range of sectors. Energy is a special commodity due to its dependency on natural monopolies. These monopolies, in the form of networks, are subject to complex sector-specific regulations. The necessary progress towards full implementation of the electricity and gas acquis can only be achieved when accompanied by active and effective competition law enforcement. The ex-post and case-related control exercised by the competition authorities forms a natural complement to sector-specific regulation. There are many examples in Europe and beyond on how competition law can even take the lead over legislative and regulatory action.
Furthermore, competition law plays an important role in combating State-sanctioned practices of (public) undertakings, which are common in some Contracting Parties. Competition law and the jurisdiction of competition authorities, in return, have a strong potential impact on both liberalized and captive markets. The ultimate goal of competition protection is to guarantee and foster consumer welfare. This objective coincides with the goals pursued by the regulations. The means, however, may be different.
The following pages provide details on the Secretariat's Policy Guidelines and the Energy Community Competition Network that constitutes the key instrument in pursuing the competition law agendas. In addition to regular events, the Secretariat also financed a study examining the State aid polices in the region.