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Parliamentary questions
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20 April 2018
E-000882/2018(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Arias Cañete on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-000882/2018

The liberalisation of energy markets in the EU is implemented through the Electricity(1) and Gas(2) Directives which all Member States had to transpose into national law by 3 March 2011. The directives contain key provisions for a proper functioning of energy markets, including rules on unbundling of transmission system operators from energy suppliers and producers, on strengthening national regulators and on improved functioning of retail markets to the benefit of consumers(3). The Commission is monitoring the complete and correct transposition of the directives and has initiated infringement procedures against a number of Member States including Bulgaria.

The Commission has moreover assessed the progress made and challenges to be addressed in Bulgaria in the last State of the Energy Union report published in November 2017(4). Challenges in the electricity sector include a highly concentrated market structure, persistence of long-term power purchase agreements and usage obligations for indigenous coal. On the other hand the newly-created power exchange (IBEX) is making good progress and could further help the development of a competitive, transparent and more open electricity market in Bulgaria. As regards gas, the retail market is not yet fully developed, end consumer price remains regulated and the wholesale market is characterised by dependency on a single source.

The Commission is assisting Bulgaria in the development of competitive, transparent and open gas and electricity markets through bilateral exchanges as well as in the context of regional groupings such as the Central and South Eastern Europe Connectivity (CESEC(5)) initiative.

(1)http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=celex%3A32009L0072
(2)http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A32009L0073
(3)http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-349_en.htm
(4)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/energy-union-factsheet-bulgaria_en.pdf
(5)https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/infrastructure/central-and-south-eastern-europe-energy-connectivity

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