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Parliamentary questions
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5 March 2018
Answer given by Mr Arias Cañete on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-000286/2018

The Third Energy Package requires, specifically in the Electricity and the Gas Directives, Member States to ensure that their national regulatory authorities (NRAs), including their staff and persons responsible for their management, act independently from any market interest and do not seek or take direct instructions from any government or other public or private entity when carrying out their regulatory tasks.

These Third Package requirements establish an important mechanism to guarantee the independence and impartiality of the NRAs. Neither the Electricity nor the Gas Directive contain specific rules on the incompatibility of past government functions and functions within the regulator.

The Commission is systematically checking the transposition of the Third Package into national legislation of the Member States. In this context, the Commission is in dialogue with the Slovak authorities, including on the issues concerning the independence and the competences of the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (URSO), in order to discuss concrete actions to overcome any potential shortcomings. The Commission also maintains continuous dialogue with the Slovak NRA, which includes providing technical advice and support in setting out the regulatory framework for the coming years.

Given the fact that the investigation is still ongoing, the Commission is not in a position to disclose, at the current stage, further information concerning the concrete issue raised by the Honourable Member. Should the legal assessment reveal non-conformity with/bad application of Union law, the Commission recalls that, in its role as Guardian of the Treaties, it may take the necessary action, including where appropriate infringement procedures.

Last updated: 5 March 2018Legal notice