The National Electricity Company – a good idea or an anti-reform measure?

The Romanian Government has decided to set up a national electricity company, vertically integrated (“a national champion”). The measure, initiated by AVAS and supported only half-heartedly by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, is opposed by Hidroelectrica, independent analysts, and the opposition parties. It seems to run against the trend of reforms in the energy sector agreed with the European Commission under the Lisbon Agenda and pursued over the last two decades by the Romanian governments. With the support of Konrad Adenauer Foundation, SAR has looked into the subject and organized a workshop with experts and the media on September 17th. We believe that, no matter which side is right about the merits of this initiative, the subject has not been sufficiently discussed, given its crucial importance: we are talking about a company with a value of around 20-24 billion Euro, owning 60% of a market that we all depend on. SAR is launching an online debate on the important measure approved two days ago by the Romanian government: to (re)create a vertically integrated national champion in the electricity sector. Following the links below you can find the arguments of decision-makers, opinions of various stakeholders and independent experts, as well as a mini-forum where you can send a message related to the topic. Here you can find: – SAR Policy Brief No. 33,Don’t reverse the reforms of the energy sector; – the points of view stated by experts in the debate on Wednesday, 17 September 2008; – opinions gathered by SAR from various sources (public authorities, independent consultants, unpublished reports); – official standpoints of institutions and political parties, from government programmes, interviews, press articles); – the situation of the adoption of the decision to found the integrated company, today.

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