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The EU renews its financial support to MEDREG to reinforce Regulators' capacity in developing the Mediterranean energy market
1 February 2018
Milan, Italy

Since its establishment in 2007 and with the continuous support of the European Union (EU), MEDREG has been working to develop a common regulatory culture and foster progressive energy market integration in the Mediterranean region. Building on 10 years of successful cooperation amongst its members, MEDREG has defined new activities for the two-year period 2018-2019, enshrined in a new grant contract recently endorsed by the European Commission.

The new action plan foresees activities aimed at stimulating regional integration, improving conditions for infrastructure investment, increasing efficiency of electricity and gas supply industries while promoting renewable energies, designing a common approach on consumer protection and enhancing regulatory capacity, skills and knowledge in the region. Emphasis will be put on the communication of the work performed and results achieved to members, external partners and the press. 

Mr Michael Köhler, Director for Neighbourhood South at DG NEAR from the European Commission, stated:

The harmonization of legislative and regulatory energy frameworks represents a key priority of the EU’s energy neighbourhood policy. By renewing its partnership with MEDREG, the EU hopes to enhance the dialogue and cooperation in the Mediterranean in the energy sector, vital for the economy and households' wellbeing, while contributing to tackle climate change.”

With a budget of over two million euros* for two years, the new EU contract will enable MEDREG to continue  developing technical reports and guidelines of good practice, technical assistance, capacity building activities and peer review exercises. A framework has already been developed to support regulatory reforms, and the organisation will further assist its members, offering a mix of flexible, personalized and tailor made tools, adapted to the members’ needs such as information exchange, study visits and training for Regulators’ staff. For instance, MEDREG will assist the Algerian energy regulator CREG in developing a methodology for the estimation of prices for electricity generated from renewables (RES), and will conduct a peer review of the Jordanian energy regulator EMRC, assessing its electricity licensing procedures.

Highlighting the priorities for the next two years, MEDREG President Mr. Santos declared:

“The Mediterranean energy sector faces major opportunities and challenges in the coming years. Energy regulation plays an essential role in addressing these changes, by creating conditions for long-term investment and affordable prices for consumers. Our priorities for the next two years are mainly to reinforce capacity building and exchange of experience between our members. In order to achieve this goal, we plan an ambitious range of activities for MEDREG’s members, including four training courses on core regulatory issues. Combined with our other initiatives, these courses are geared towards helping regulators manage their daily responsibilities and are indispensable to reinforce regulators’ ability to fulfil this role effectively.”

the planned activities will also seek to improve the conditions for infrastructure investment, with a series of reports which will identify the current challenges for the development of electricity infrastructure. In addition, actions related to energy efficiency and development of smart grids are envisaged. MEDREG will for instance develop recommendations and guidelines for the Palestine Energy Regulatory Commission (PERC) to promote the use of RES and energy efficiency.

Consumer protection remains at the heart of MEDREG’s priorities. The current status and nature of dispute resolution procedures in Mediterranean countries will be assessed, with a view to developing a set of recommendations. A study visit focusing on gas consumer connection procedures is also foreseen for the Israeli gas regulator.  

Finally, the new grant contract acknowledges MEDREG’s technical contribution to the Union for the Mediterranean’s Regional Electricity Market platform (UfM REM platform) under which the organisation will perform a range of studies, activities and data sharing in cooperation with Med-TSO Association and other stakeholders, with the objective of fostering market integration.

** The exact budget allocated by the European Union to MEDREG for 2018 and 2019 amounts to €2,122,801.   

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