EBRD assists Bulgaria’s energy and water sector

By Axel  Reiserer

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has successfully completed a technical assistance project to strengthen Bulgaria’s Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) by enhancing the regulator’s analytical and technical capacity.

The project, led by the EBRD’s Legal Transition Team, focused on:

1)     practical implementation of legislative amendments on market monitoring, integrity and transparency prepared during Phase I as part of the country’s transposition of the European Union’s third energy package

2)     development of regulatory acts, rules and methodologies aimed at improving regulation of the electricity distribution network, and

3)     a dedicated capacity-building programme to enhance the analytical and technical skills of the EWRC experts in their day-to-day activities.

The EBRD supported the EWRC in developing reports and recommendations for internal rules and practices focused on implementation of the EU Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT). Ths included the handling of electronic data, court acceptance for e-documents, investigations of potential REMIT violations, and coordination with other state authorities. EWRC experts were also trained on these highly relevant topics.

The transition to a competitive market requires a strong and competent regulator able to monitor sector performance to ensure a level playing field for all market participants, while protecting consumer interests. The project equipped the EWRC with the skills and tools to exercise its duties under REMIT and paved the way to a fully liberalised energy market.

The second phase of the project was implemented with the financial support of the operational programme known as “Good Governance”, financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds for Bulgaria and managed by the government of Bulgaria.

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