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Politics and Regulation of Gas in Europe-Chapter 3

Elsevier Ltd
DOI: 10.1016/b978-008044550-2/50006-3
  • Economics
  • Law
  • Political Science


Publisher Summary This chapter discusses the politics and regulation of gas in Europe, by analyzing the process of regulatory change in European gas. The chapter also outlines the first wave of change initiated by the first—1998—gas Directive. It addresses some background issues of the reform processes—the past regulation and industrial organization and the European liberalization process. Further, it assesses the state of the art in regulatory reform from a legal and empirical point of view. The chapter explains national dynamics in regulatory reform and analyses the dynamics at the EU level in terms of convergence and divergence. The chapter also suggests that not only legal regulatory reform will decide the further harmonization of the internal gas market, but economic and political forces will put pressure on the harmonization process too. Consumers everywhere in Europe might induce economic pressure. European competition authorities are also important in this regard. In case, countries are unable to decide about the harmonization of access conditions, the competition authorities might tackle this problem from the perspective of competition instead of gas market harmonization.

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