Saturday

18th Nov 2017

Ljubljana to house new EU energy body

Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, is set to become more visible on the political map of the 27-nation EU as the city has been selected to house the union's Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), designed to boost the idea of a single European market in electricity and gas.

The decision - taken by EU ministers in charge of energy on Sunday evening (6 December) - puts an end to what was described as "a tough game" between three contestants. Slovakia's Bratislava came in second, while the third bidder, Bucharest in Romania, enjoyed the least support.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"It is a historical day for Slovenia," Slovenian minister Matej Lahovnik said in response to the outcome. In the past, his country failed to get Frontex, the agency responsible for security of the union's external borders, as well as the European Institute for Gender Equality.

According to EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs, the new energy body "is something like the European Central Bank in the area of energy ... because it will take very important binding decisions inside the EU."

"We know Brussels, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, Frankfurt and we will know Ljubljana," the commissioner said, indirectly underlining that the energy dossier is gaining in political influence.

The idea to set up the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (Acer) was given the green light in April 2009, together with rules to further liberalise the union's gas and electricity market.

The year-and-a-half-long process leading to the decision saw heated debate over whether to break up EU energy giants into production and supply units as well as wrangling over Acer's future powers.

Several EU capitals were quick to make sure that the agency - foreseen to receive up to €7 million from EU coffers each year - would not curtail the powers of national regulators. In the end, the body secured legally-binding powers over disputes involving cross-border pipelines and networks, should national operators fail to agree on a solution.

In addition, it will have a say in the creation of European network rules - a development that should also boost the idea of a single EU energy market.

The agency will prepare technical decisions on helping electricity and gas circulate freely within the 27-nation bloc, commissioner Pieblags said, stressing that there "won't be a Slovenian, Latvian or German market, but only an EU market."

ACER is expected to be fully up and running from 3 March 2011.

New EU law takes aim at Russia pipeline

Proposed law could complicate Russia's plan to build new gas pipeline to Germany, but jurisdictional issues mean project will be decided by Moscow and Berlin.

Investigation

Commission still silent on Hungarian nuclear contract

The EU executive has still not explained why it accepted that a contract with Russia to extend the Paks plant could be awarded without a public tender, and why commissioner Oettinger travelled with a lobbyist working for the Hungarian government.

Opinion

Clean energy package needs market, not just targets

While discussions on targets and objectives are important, the focus must not be on the percentage, but rather on delivering fundamental market reforms in order to reach targets in place.

News in Brief

  1. Bonn climate talks extend into Friday evening
  2. UK needs to move on Brexit by early December, Tusk says
  3. Puigdemont extradition decision postponed to December
  4. Ireland wants written UK guarantees to avoid hard border
  5. US did not obstruct climate talks, says German minister
  6. EU signs social declaration
  7. Puigdemont to be heard by Belgian judges
  8. Steep fall in migrants reaching EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  2. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  4. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  5. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  6. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  9. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017
  10. World Vision20 November: Exchange of Views at the EP on Children Affected by the Syria Crisis
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable Growth the Nordic Way: Climate Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  12. EU2017EEHow Data Fuels Estonia's Economy

Latest News

  1. EU keeps former Soviet states at arm's length
  2. EU leaders make pledge on social issues after populist backlash
  3. EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK
  4. Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
  5. Mind the gap: inequality in our cities
  6. Climate activists 'disappointed' with EU at climate talks
  7. Davis outlines UK vision on Brexit in Berlin
  8. German coalition talks in near collapse