Publications / Articles
Market opening and competitionPublished: 1 of July, 2006

The 2004 expansion of the European Union to 10 new countries has altered both the energy markets and participating companies in these new Member States. Discussed in this chapter is how the 2004 EU enlargement has impacted both countries and companies in the EU. A dual approach is taken that examines both the gas and electricity companies affected by the enlargement. The focus is mainly on the impact that enlargement has had on new Member States.

This chapter will show that there are energy pricing and demand differentials between the EU-15 and EU-10. The price of gas has gone through a period of dramatic price rises in all current EU Member States. Markedly, since 2000 the price of gas for customers in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia has risen significantly as these countries make the transition to more market orientated pricing structures. In terms of supply, delivery and distribution E.ON Ruhrgas, Gazprom and to an extent RWE, have emerged as significant owners in all new Member States excluding Cyprus, Malta and Poland. E.On, RWE and EDF have also been active in the fi eld of electricity generation and distribution in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.