The European Regulation

The European Regulation

European parliament

European regulation is acting its directive activity on energy sector with reference to some main areas:

  • Unbundling - unbundling of regulated assets from other activities belonging to the gas chain was introduced to guarantee efficient and non-discriminatory access to the infrastructures to all operators. The schema proposed by the European regulation includes three different models: Owner Unbundling (OU), Independent Transmission Operator (ITO) and Independent System Operator (ISO). Each member state has the right to adopt the most suitable model on its reference market conditions;

  • Market Liquidity - market liquidity is an element of primary importance for the development of the gas system. The market liquidity is developed by adopting measures such as the implementation of the entry-exit systems and the introduction of a market balancing regime as well as the development of the gas exchanges;

  • Harmonization and cooperation - harmonization and cooperation in terms of business rules and network development, is an important element to reach the aim of an integrate gas market at European level. Member States, national Authorities and Transmission System Operator (TSOs) are required to cooperate on regional and European level to integrate the different national markets. To this end, an Agency for the cooperation of national regulators (ACER) and the European network for gas transportation operators (ENTSOG) have been established;

  • Infrastructure development - infrastructure development is in line with the goal of ensuring internal security of supply and support gas exchanges between national markets. Security can be strengthened by diversification of the sources, development of infrastructures (also in relation to the introduction of green-gases), implementing bi-directional transportation capacity (reverse flow), increasing of gas exchanges by promoting the creation and the development of interconnection infrastructures between the national markets;

  • Sustainability - community rules supporting energy transition towards a progressively decarbonized economy play a central role among the objectives of energy and environmental policy. The most recent developments are identified by the "European Green Deal" package, including strategies for "Energy System Integration" and hydrogen.

European Commission

The European Commission is in charge of promoting new legislative initiatives at the European Parliament and Council. For specific energy regulations, the Commission has a central role in the production of Codes and defining priority themes to develop as well as in monitoring the drafting and legal adoption of these Codes.

Madrid Forum

The European forum for gas regulation (the so-called Madrid forum) is a body created in 1999 by the European Commission. Its role is to promote the creation of an actual internal gas market through the harmonization of the gas market rules. All the European gas stakeholders are represented there: the national regulation authorities, national governments, the European Commission, the transporters, traders and consumers. The forum meets once twice years.

Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators

The agency for the cooperation of energy regulators (ACER) is an EU body established in 2009 and operative since March 2011. It is in charge of regulatory matters and the coordination of the national Regulatory Authorities on the European level. It is responsible for defining the guidelines to prepare the Codes and monitoring of energy markets.

European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas

ENTSOG is an association of Europe's transmission system operators, operative since December 2009. Among its main tasks, ENTSOG is defining and implementing the Codes for the European gas market and it is in charge of the updating of the ten year non-binding Development Plan for European infrastructure (TYNDP) every two years. Snam is a founding member of the association.


Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is an association representing the sole interest of the infrastructure industry in the natural gas business such as Transmission System Operators (Gas Transmission Europe – GTE), Storage System Operators (Gas Storage Europe – GSE) and LNG Terminal Operators (Gas LNG Europe - GLE). Its mission is to actively promote the role of gas infrastructures and contribute to the construction of a single, sustainable and competitive gas market in Europe underpinned by a stable and predictable regulatory framework as well as by a sound investment climate.


The European regulatory activity on energy sector is acted through specific legislative and regulatory provisions. The main instruments provided by the European legislature are:

  • Communications: general acts that present new political guidelines and programs;
  • Regulations: legislative acts immediately applicable in all member States like national laws;
  • Directives: acts that needs to be transposed by the national legislature in terms of the means to be acted in order to reach the required goals.

Regulations and Directives are defined following a defined legislative process (co-decision) with the involvement of European Parliament and Council.

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03 December 2021 - 10:08 CET