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EU Gas Market Monitoring Regulations and Their Impact on Relations between Moscow and Brussels

Abstract

A number of experts noted that nowadays in the European Union we are witnessing the formation of so-called "new architecture of the gas market", which is based on mechanisms for ensuring the transparency of the gas market. This article examines the EU gas market monitoring  as  one  of  the important elements for ensuring the transparency of energy markets. At the same time, the author aims to reveal the instruments’ of the new energy policy formed by the European Union influence on its relations with the Russian Federation as the main supplier of energy resources. Using the methods of analysis and legal interpretation of the text, the answer to the question "How will the European Commission's intention to increase the transparency of the energy market, or rather the gas market, influence relations with the Russian Federation?" is given.

Presented in February 2016 by the European Commission "Sustainable Energy Security Package" as part of the "European Energy Union" framework strategy includes the task of increasing the European energy market transparency. Thus, the effort to increase the transparency can be considered one of the priority directions of the European Commission’s work in the economic sphere. Due to the fact that the topic relates to the markets’ transparency as an important element of European energy security and, accordingly, one of the main points of the current political agenda, REMIT Regulation, REMIT Implementing Regulation and the role of ACER agency is investigated. In addition, the paper explains the specificity of long-term contracts for the supply of natural gas, as well as wholesale energy markets and products that are affected by these regulations. Relevant documents and various expert opinions necessary to the explanation of this issue are considered. Based on the analysis, the author draws a conclusion that gas market monitoring and ensuring greater transparency (long-term contracts, publication of insider information) will not negatively affect the relations between the European Union and Russia in a long- term perspective, as they are interdependent. Also, on the basis of expert opinions, the author concludes that in a short-term perspective, the Russian Federation managed to adapt flexibly to new market conditions (spot instead of long-term contracts), and not to lose its share in the EU gas market. Moreover, in a long-term perspective, Russia can also increase its share in the European market due to the growing demand for gas in the EU, although this depends on the influence of various factors mentioned in the article. On the other hand, the EU managed to realize its intentions of "EEU" to increase market transparency, which could lead to increased energy security of the EU.

Keywords:

European Energy Union; market monitoring; ACER; REMIT Regulations; natural gas; Russia-EU energy relations; wholesale energy market.


Authors: Roman Murgash

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