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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.

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Commission Opinion [COM(97)2003 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(98)702 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(99)510 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2000)710 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2001)700 final - SEC(2001)1753 - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2002)700 final - SEC(2002)1409 - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2003) 676 final - SEC(2003) 1211 - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2004) 657 final - SEC(2004) 1200 - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2005) 534 final - SEC(2005) 1354 - Not published in the Official Journal] Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 157 of 21.06.05]


In its Opinion of July 1997, the European Commission expressed the view that Romania would have to considerably increase its efforts in the energy sector in order to prepare for accession. Action was required in the following areas in particular: the adjustment of monopolies, including import and export monopolies, energy pricing, the establishment of mandatory oil stocks, State intervention in the solid fuels sector, improvement of energy efficiency and fuel quality standards. No major difficulties were foreseen with regard to compliance with the Euratom Treaty, but Romania had to implement certain international standards. Greater attention also had to be given to nuclear safety standards, especially those related to plant operation, and to finding long-term solutions for waste.

The November 1998 Report confirmed that Romania had stepped up its efforts in the energy sector in order to prepare for integration. Bringing the legal framework into line with the acquis was a matter of priority and the necessary steps had to be taken to establish and strengthen implementation and enforcement measures. The newly-established energy regulatory authority and nuclear safety authority had to be given the means to function properly and an agency for managing radioactive waste had to be established.

In its November 1999 Report, the Commission noted that Romania had made progress in 1998 with regard to the creation of a suitable legislative framework. Nevertheless, much more was required in this sector in order to prepare for integration. Areas posing particular problems included adaptation to the internal electricity and gas markets, the development of energy efficiency and fuel quality standards. Progress also had to be made with regard to mandatory oil reserves. In the field of nuclear safety, efforts continued to be made to ensure conformity with the acquis.

The November 2000 Report stated that since the last Report, Romania had put the emphasis on implementation of the electricity and heating law adopted in December 1998. The restructuring of the electricity and gas sectors was underway, but progress was slower than anticipated.

In its November 2001 Report, the Commission considered that there had been a very inconsistent evolution in the energy sector in Romania since the last evaluation. This sector had been the subject of contradictory decisions and progress had been limited. As regards security of supply, no improvement had been registered. Although there had been progress on legislation to promote energy efficiency, the low level of energy efficiency remained a problem. As regards the internal energy market, there had been major developments but not all of them had been positive. The financial situation of the public utilities had become very worrying.

The October 2002 Report noted that Romania had made progress in preparing for the internal energy market, in particular as regards the level of market opening, pricing policy, and restructuring of some utilities. However, progress in implementing key structural reforms and improving administrative capacity had been limited.

The 2003 Report stressed that Romania has achieved a certain level of alignment. However, the national authorities should now focus on the full and rapid implementation of the structural reforms in the energy sector, the elimination of price distortions and the improvement of bill collection rates, improved energy efficiency, the progressive building up of oil stocks and the strengthening of administrative capacity.

The 2004 Report noted that Romania has made progress regarding the building up of oil stocks, the internal energy market (electricity and gas), including restructuring and privatisation of the energy sector, the development of trans-European energy networks, solid fuels and nuclear energy. Progress has been slower regarding price distortions, bill collection rates, arrears and energy efficiency.

The October 2005 Report notes that Romania has made good progress overall on the legal and administrative framework in the energy sector. However, the capacity and independence of the various public bodies in the sector must be improved. Special efforts must be made to build up oil stocks in accordance with the acquis. Romania must also continue to transpose legislation on energy efficiency and renewable energies, and ensure effective management of nuclear safety.

The Treaty of Accession was signed on 25 April 2005 and accession took place on 1 January 2007.


The key elements of the energy acquis comprise of Treaty provisions and secondary legislation concerning in particular competition and State aid, the internal energy market (including directives on electricity, price transparency, gas and electricity transit, hydrocarbons, granting of licences, emergency response and security stock obligations), nuclear energy, energy efficiency and environmental protection provisions.

The Community acquis in the field of nuclear energy consists of a framework of legal and political instruments including international agreements. At present, it addresses issues of health and safety, including radiation protection, safety of nuclear installations, management of radioactive waste, investment, promotion of research, nuclear common market, supplies, safeguards and international relations.

The White Paper (preparing the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe for their integration in the internal market of the European Union) stresses in the section on energy the need for full application of key internal market directives in combination with EU competition law. As regards the nuclear sector, the White Paper refers to problems of supply, safeguards and shipments of nuclear waste.


Romania complies with most of its obligations in the energy sector and should be capable of implementing the acquis from the time of its accession. To do this, the rate of transposition must be maintained and administrative capacity strengthened.

As regards security of supply, legal alignment has been completed. However, Romania has still to adopt implementing provisions on oil stocks. The level of reserves must reach 90 days consumption by the end of 2011. Success in achieving this objective also depends on a strengthening of existing administrative capacity.

In 2003, Romania signed the Athens memorandum of understanding whose objective is to create regional electricity and gas markets in south-eastern Europe based on the principles of the internal energy market.

To improve security of supply, Romania has continued work on the oil pipeline from Constantsa to Omisalj (on the Adriatic coast) and the "Nabucco" gas pipeline which passes through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. The construction of this pipeline is one of the EU priority projects under the trans-European energy network programme.

As regards competitiveness and the internal energy market, Romania has adopted important initiatives, such as the "National strategy for energy development" in June 2001.

In the electricity sector, the adoption of the Electricity Law is a welcome development. However, it has still to adopt implementing rules in the gas sector. At the same time, Romania has achieved a measure of preparedness for the internal energy market through restructuring, including privatisation, price developments, alignment with the acquis and strengthening of institutional capacity. The current restructuring of the gas and electricity sectors, especially privatisation, is still not complete. During this transitional period, additional efforts are required to make the energy sectors more competitive, particularly for bill collection and reduction of arrears. Moreover, Romania must continue restructuring the coal industry following the reduction of mining activities. Moreover, legislation should take account of provisions in the new acquis and address issues such as legal unbundling, access to the network and to storage, the role of the regulator, and total market opening in 2007. It is also essential that the two new national regulatory bodies (ANRE and ANRGN) should have their administrative capacities and independence increased.

New steps must be taken to open up markets, having regard to the schedule envisaged for the creation of an energy community (electricity and gas) in south-eastern Europe.

As far as energy efficiency and the promotion of renewable energy are concerned, the legislation has been adopted for the most part. Two important areas have still to be transposed: the directives on energy efficiency in buildings and those on biofuels. The Romanian Fund for Energy Efficiency is oriented towards private companies whereas the main potential for energy saving is to be found in the large State-owned sector. Moreover, the capacities and resources of the new Romanian energy saving agency must be increased.

In the field of nuclear energy, Romania has one nuclear power plant, Cernavoda. The current reactor provides 9-10% of the country's electricity, and a second reactor is due to become operational. Romania must fulfill the conditions laid down in the EURATOM loan for the completion and upgrading of this reactor. As regards administrative structures, consolidation of the various national authorities in the sector must continue through increased capacities and independence.

Nuclear safety is of particular importance in the enlargement process, and for this reason the Council of the European Union had adopted a report on nuclear safety in the context of enlargement in June 2001. The report recommended seven specific measures for Romania. These include increasing the capability and resources of the regulatory authority, establishing an on-site emergency centre and carrying out fire hazard analyses. Moreover, due attention should be given to preparing for the implementation of EURATOM safeguards. It should be noted that Romania has concluded a full-scope safeguards agreement and an additional protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Romania has to strengthen the resources and capacity of its nuclear regulatory authority in a sustainable manner, ensure a high level of nuclear safety at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant and establish the plant's emergency operation centre. It should also strengthen the resources and capabilities for improving the safety of radioactive waste management and establish a clear strategy highlighting possible weaknesses and shortcomings of current management practices. In particular, it is a matter of concern that there is no fund specifically for the decommissioning and management of waste in Romania.

Lastly, Romania must comply with the requirements and procedures of the Euratom Treaty, in particular as regards direct reporting of nuclear material flows and inventories by the persons or undertakings operating nuclear installations, or storing nuclear material.

Last updated: 23.05.2007