Energy networks within the EU have historically been constructed and operated on a national basis by vertically integrated monopolies, usually in full or partial state ownership, with the state’s interest exercised either by central or regional governments. Energy policy has thus been primarily nationally based, with limited cross-border trading. The EU’s interest in enhancing cooperation and integration of EU-wide energy networks has grown since the 1980s. EU policy was initially focused primarily on economic objectives of liberalisation and the development of an efficient internal market. However, the objectives have broadened over the last ten years. Development of integrated network is now seen as critical to the attainment of environmental sustainability, by facilitating the connection of energy generated by renewable sources to the energy grids. It is also seen as necessary to ensure security of supply, by facilitating the movement of electricity and gas within the EU and between EU and neighbouring states.
The case study on EU energy regulation was developed by Julia Black of the London School of Economics.