Event detail
19 September 2019
Media showcase event on MEDREG's support to energy regulatory reforms in the Southern Mediterranean
The future of energy cooperation in the Mediterranean was highlighted during the conference “MEDREG’s support to energy regulatory reforms in the Southern Mediterranean”, which took place on 19 September 2019 in Brussels. During this one-day event, MEDREG shared some of the successes achieved in the last two years, through the voice and testimonies of six member regulators. The day was attended by a diverse group of experts in the energy sector, journalists, members of the private sector, utilities and European institutions, all sharing a common interest in advancing a joint energy future of the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Ms. Gülefsan Demirbas, MEDREG President, welcomed the regulators’ representatives from Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, and Palestine. During her introductory speech Ms. Gülefsan Demirbas recalled that in 2018 MEDREG launched an initiative to facilitate ongoing and forthcoming energy reforms in the Southern and Eastern countries of the Mediterranean region. In this perspective, MEDREG further established itself as a technical collaborative platform through the elaboration of tailor-made actions for each national context and providing tools to face common challenges affecting the Mediterranean region.

The day was marked by the intervention of representatives of the European Commission, such as Ms. Ingrid Schwaiger, Deputy Head of Unit, Regional Programs Neighbourhood South (DG NEAR) who confirmed that European interests for economic development and technical convergence indeed coincide with those of the Mediterranean neighbours. Economic development in Southern countries requires a solid legal and regulatory framework, especially in the energy sector. Ms. Ingrid Schwaiger stated that the action of MEDREG is essential for future relations with the Mediterranean neighbours. Ms. Scwaiger stressed that if, as the new Commission’s political line states, we want to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, Europe must cooperate with its closest neighbours.

According to her colleague Leonidas Kioussis, International Relations Officer at DG Energy of the European Commission, Mediterranean countries must be able to share a common regulatory language, technical knowledge, and good practices, as the basis for any and all economic cooperation. Mr. Kioussis recalled that removing subsidies in the sector is the main condition for reforming energy markets. Europe wants to support the governments of the Mediterranean neighbours who would like to develop a thriving energy market, so that new sustainable projects represent a driving force for growth, well-being and job creation. Ms. Ingrid Schwaiger and Mr. Kioussis said that MEDREG’s work was productive and constructive in building the technical expertise and cooperation network for the future European neighbourhood energy policy around the Mediterranean.

MEDREG has been developing a framework to support regulatory reforms adapted to the needs of members such as information exchange, study visits and training for regulators. For example, MEDREG assisted the Algerian energy regulator Regulatory Commission of Electricity and Gas (CREG) in developing a methodology for estimating the prices of electricity generated from renewable energy sources (RES).

Find out more about the testimonies of our MEDREG members in this conclusion document.

  • Ms. Karima Mededjel
    Director of Communication and External Relations Algerian Regulatory Commission of Electricity and Gas (CREG): Determining renewable energy prices through auctioning system
  • Ms. Sahimaa Abdel Azim
    Senior Economist Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (EgyptERA): How the Egyptian energy regulator reinforced its powers on consumer protection and tariff setting
  • Ms. Sireen Anton Qourah
    Director of Media and Public Relations Palestinian Electricity Regulatory Council (PERC): Project of establishing a net metering system in the country
  • Mr. Abdellatif Bardach
    President National Electricity Regulatory Authority (ANRE): the establishment of an independent and operational energy regulatory authority
  • Ms. Budour Alhyari
    Legal Advisor Energy & Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC). Eng. Mohammad Maayah Communication and International Cooperation Director EMRC: Strengthening EMRC’s capacity to correctly give, monitor and withdraw licences
  • Ms. Nurit Felter-Eitan
    Authority Secretary and Spokeswoman Public Utilities Authority – Electricity (PUA): Opening of wholesale electricity markets, moving from monopolies to competitive markets
  • Mr. Constantine Blyuz
    Chief Economist Israel Natural Gas Authority (NGA): Connecting household consumers to gas

The MEDREG President concluded the event by highlighting how the conference offered a unique opportunity for dialogue to many of the main protagonists of the Mediterranean energy development, and that MEDREG favoured the implementation of a profitable climate of cooperation in the region.
She indicated that the next three years and at the request of the members, MEDREG will further pursue its personalised support towards Southern countries, focusing on the development of the design of electricity markets, the unbundling of vertical integrated companies, the role of off-grid consumers and the coming age of electricity storage.
In the second semester of 2019, MEDREG will conclude support activities on regulatory independence in Lebanon, electricity licensing and storage in Jordan, waste-to-energy methods in Egypt and public service obligations for electricity and gas in Algeria.
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