Regional Dimensions to Europe’s energy integration
The European Commission initially encouraged regional groupings as the bottom-up building blocks of energy market integration, at a time when, in the mid-2000s, no further EU-wide energy legislation seemed possible. But, once the Third Package was passed in 2009, the Commission decided to rush the market integration process by means of top-down centralised harmonisation. This paper argues it is neither feasible nor desirable to try to leap-frog the regional phase of energy market integration. The Commission, the paper warns, will regret neglecting precisely the sort of regional cooperation that Brussels wants to see in the organisation of renewable and capacity schemes.