EnC Secretariat opens dispute settlement case against Macedonia for postponing market opening, 30 Jan 2015

Today the Secretariat sent an Opening Letter to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for its failure to comply with the Energy Community’s eligibility rules by postponing full opening of the electricity market. The Energy Community Treaty sets 1 January 2008 as the implementation deadline for market opening for non-household customers and 1 January 2015 for all customers including households. The postponement until 2020 of full market liberalisation represents a severe breach of the Treaty.

The amendments to the Energy Law adopted in October 2014 deprive small businesses and all household customers of their right to purchase electricity directly from the supplier of their choice. Furthermore, making eligibility dependent on electricity consumption is non-compliant with the Treaty.

Protecting customers from dramatic price increases is a legitimate aim that could be achieved through measures which are significantly less market distorting and in compliance with the Energy Community acquis. Eligibility has to be distinguished from price regulation and universal service provision might necessitate regulating the prices for certain categories of customers.

The Secretariat is ready to assist former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in rectifying the identified breaches of Energy Community law.

According to Articles 6 and 16 of the Rules of Procedure for Dispute Settlement, interested parties may be granted access to the case file and may submit written observations on the present case to the Secretariat within one month from 30 January 2014. All requests for information on this case should be addressed to the Deputy Director/Legal Counsel of the Secretariat, Dirk Buschle at dirk.buschle@energy-community.org or +43 1 535 2222 24 and should make reference to the case number ECS-2/15.