Europees Gasforum bijeen in Madrid over integratie gasmarkt, 16-17 oktober 2007 (en)
The 13 th meeting of the European Gas Regulatory Forum ("Madrid Forum") which was held on 16 and 17 October in Madrid, discussed important topics for the further development of a fully operational internal gas market linked to the recent proposals for a 3 rd legislative energy package, in particular transparency, interoperability and new investments. The new legislative proposals presented by the Commission on 19 September, aim for harmonisation and improved cooperation of regulators and network operators at European level. Experience gained over recent years has shown that some of the core barriers for the development of the European gas market are incompatible rules at national level. The Madrid Forum, since the start of the liberalisation process, has served to address the practical implementation of the European legislation in the natural gas market.
A clear requirement for improvement was highlighted with respect to the implementation of existing legislation by both TSOs and Member States. ERGEG, the Commission's advisory group of European electricity and gas regulators, presented its monitoring of TSO compliance with existing transparency obligations which showed that compliance with existing legislation is still not sufficient. The Commission expressed its concerns about the remaining areas of non-compliance, and indicated that comprehensive implementation of the European legislation in spirit, not only in letter, is crucial.
Clear and positive signals on the further development of European gas market integration came from the announcement of GTE, the association of the European Gas Transmission system operators, to start preparations to set up the Cooperation of European Network Operators, as proposed by the 3 rd package. The Forum welcomed this development but highlighted the fact that improved TSO cooperation is one of the three pillars of the legislative proposals, the other ones being improved regulatory cooperation and effective unbundling of transmission and supply interests. Similarly, the Forum welcomed the announcement by Europex, the EU association of power exchanges, to address the possibility of setting up of a European association of gas exchanges, which will actively participate in the further discussions on the internal market.
The Forum further noted that the Gas Regional Initiative, driven by ERGEG and which has active participation of all stakeholders contributes to the improvement of coordination amongst systems and best practice solutions for the implementation of existing legislation.