Ownership Unbundling and its negative impact: EPSU asks Council to act

(February 2008) The European Commission is arguing for further changes to the internal market for electricity and gas. There are important elements in its package such as strengthening the powers of national regulators and ensuring more European cooperation between them through the European regulatory Agency. EPSU argues for democratic control. Its proposals lack measures to protect citizens and especially low-income (or fuel poor) ones. Together with other organisations EPSU pushes for more protection of these users. One element of the Commission's package concerns ownership unbundling. EPSU rejects the forced ownership unbundling proposed by the Commission. An evaluation of Professor Steve Thomas of the University of Greenwich demonstrates that the impact assessment of the European Commission to justify its proposals does not stand up to scrutiny. To read that impact assessment More recently research of Professor Florio, University of Milan, revealed that fragmentation of vertically integrated companies goes hand in hand with price increases and reduced customer satisfaction. To read a summary of the research: EPSU considered the employment chapter of the impact assessment (5.14). Our conclusion is that it can not be called a proper assessment. It ignores important studies, fails to address important issues and thus underestimates the possible negative consequences. To read our paper EPSU requested the Slovenian Presidency to introduce an amendment to the Directives to prevent negative consequences for the workers concerned. To read more: