Action plan to confront 3rd package internal market electricity and gas

The European Commission published the 3rd package 19 September 2007. An EPSU work group met on the same day to consider the package. The important issues are:

-the proposals to strengthen the national and European regulator - including the creation of an Agency of European regulators;

-to oblige the traders to be transparent as regards their deals to prevent manipulation of wholesale markets;

-a stronger role of the European Network of Transmission System Operators and

-proposals for ownership unbundling or the possibility (as a derogation) to establish a ISO (independent system operator.)

The EPSU group discussed the proposals and in particular those on ownership unbundling. The group rejects the Commission proposals for ownership unbundling and ISO. The Commission can not prove that its proposals will do anything to lower prices for users (high prices exist in countries with unbundled TSOs) or will bring in the needed investment. The proposals will endanger the long term planning, security of supply and the availability of skilled staff for example. Workers and their familities will face months of insecurity over their future.

The Commission proposals do not provide any guarantees for workers in distribution companies who will be a next target as the plans of the Commission in January 2007 as well as the sector inquiry made clear. Once the Commission will succeed its next step will be to focus on distribution companies causing years of instability. The Commission also treats gas and electricity in a similar way. The previous proposals for legal unbundling agreed in 2003 and to be implemented before Julyy 2007 have not even had time to mature and prove effectiveness.

The group discussed the outlines of an action plan to confront the proposals. This will be discussed in the Standing Committee 30 October.

The package can be accessed through:

The EPSU press release is available on: