E-Control strengthens bilateral ties with our partner authorities in neighbouring countries, in other EU Member States and far beyond the EU's borders.
Apart from mid-term projects, we receive visits from other regulators or send our experts on missions.
Twinning is an instrument of the European Commission. It is meant to support non-EU countries in approaching the EU acquis on all matters. The focus in these projects is on practical support for a series of clearly delimited areas of work.
E-Control has been an active twinner since 2007. Between 2007 and 2009, we were part of a twinning with the energy regulatory authority of Ukraine, NERC. In this two-year project, we worked together with Czech regulator ERÚ in a consortium led by our Italian partners. The six work packages were designed to bring Ukrainian energy law closer to European standards.
Then we very successfully implemented a twinning with Macedonian regulator ERC. The closing conference in April 2011 showed all Austrian, Macedonian and EU partners to be very happy with the project’s results and its long-term implications. These were once again confirmed in a monitoring mission conducted in April 2012.
In 2013, we concluded the implementation phase of a twinning project with Croatia, which had been awarded to us in September 2011. The practical phase of the project was between August 2012 and August 2013. For this project, we partnered up with the Austrian Energy Agency, the Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and EXAA. Our Croatian counterparts were the energy ministry and several stakeholders.
At the same time, we realised a two-year twinning with Georgian energy regulator GNERC, on incentive regulation and quality. Again we had experts from EXAA on our team. In addition, we were supported by experts from the German and Latvian regulators. This project was concluded in 2014.
The follow-up project in Georgia was also awarded to E-Control. It builds on the results of the first project and takes a closer look at cost auditing. Also a concept for market monitoring will be developed. The implementation period for this project is from January 2016 until the end of 2017. Our partner in this project is Lithuanian energy regulator NCC.
In parallel, we have been entrusted with carrying out a twinning project in Algeria. Together with Spanish energy regulator CNMC and EXAA, we cover a broad range of regulatory topics, from consumer issues and renewables all the way to data processing. The two-year implementation period of this project will end in August 2017.
Other bilateral projects
Apart from twinnings, we also conduct other bilateral cooperation projects with our partner authorities in other countries. In 2013, we implemented a project with the energy regulator in Uganda. It was supported by the Austrian foreign ministry and financed by Austrian Development Bank. The topics we covered were licensing, tarification, internal organisation and PR.
Under a memorandum of understanding we have with the Cypriot energy regulator, we also conducted a project with them to analyse and improve their organisational structure.
We have set up a website dedicated to all of our international cooperation projects, twinning or otherwise. Please visit this page if you would like more in-depth information: www.e-twinning.at
E-Control experts on tour
E-Control's staff have an excellent reputation internationally, which is why we often receive requests for our experts to speak at conferences or seminars or to hold specialised workshops and presentations for other regulators.
This is either organised bilaterally or through the TAIEX instrument of the European Commission. TAIEX is a more directed instrument than twinning, i.e. it only covers workshops between one and five days. The topics addressed on these occasions cover the full range of regulatory work.
We are often asked by our fellow regulatory authorities for a chance for them to visit our Vienna offices and get an impression of how we work.
Such study visits mostly focus on the Austrian market model or part of it; depending on the issues that are discussed, they may last only half a day or up to a week. In organising such visits from other European countries, but also from our non-European partners, E-Control often cooperates with a range of Austrian market participants.
The delegations we host as part of these study visits come from all over the EU but also from non-member states such as Ukraine, Ghana, Mongolia or the Caribbean.