March 3, 2008
MEP Renato Brunetta, rapporteur for an Industry (ITRE) Committee report on ACER, stressed that the Parliament was practically in “complete consensus” in calling for more powers for the agency.In particular, the Parliament wants the agency to have the power to approve both the ten-year grid investment plans and the cross-border electricity transmission codes developed by national Transmission System Operators (TSOs). The Commission’s proposal only gives the agency advisory powers in these areas.Sue Harrison of the UK Government department for business enterprise and regulatory reform backed the Parliament’s recommendations and argued that TSOs should develop codes under the “strict supervision” of ACER. And in a rare showing of near complete agreement between British and German energy regulators, Klaus-Peter Schultz of Germany’s grid regulation authority Bundesnetzagentur argued that a stronger EU-level agency could lead to a smoother functioning of markets.Schultz pointed in particular to concerns about ‘comitology congestion’ if numerous technical decisions concerning regulatory cooperation between national TSOs have to be taken by specialist committees in Brussels. MEPs and panellists also agreed that potential legal restrictions on the ability of the EU to create a new regulatory agency with strong intervention powers at national level could be circumvented if proper safeguards are in place.
Calls for an increase in ACER’s powers were also made during a 24 January hearing on the issue organised by the ITRE Committee.
From Eur ActivAuthor : EMI