The objective of this research project was twofold. First, it explored the mutual influence of Community and national regulation on the provision of public services; second it analysed the way in which this mutual influence shapes the institutional framework for the provision of public services.
The aim of the research was to determine whether the influence that Community law receives from the national notion of public service (and vice versa) and the multilevel institutional framework settled for the provision of public services pave the way for the creation of an European notion of service public. To this aim, the project focused on the Community and Spanish regulation and case-law concerning the functioning of the Spanish electricity market, the internal energy market and the institutional framework to provide public services in this sector.
In relation to the main objective of the research project, the analysis of the measures proposed by the Commission indicated that European intervention in energy matters is no longer founded in the notion of citizens and the provision of public services, but rather on competition, sustainability, and security of energy supply. This change of focus raised many queries concerning the scope of European intervention in energy matters under the umbrella of the realization of the internal market. In this sense, the research project contributed to the debate concerning the extension of Community competences in energy policy, which should be tackled from a different perspective since the Lisbon Treaty includes Energy as a new legal basis for Community action. As for the institutional framework, the analysis of the measures proposed by the Commission drew a very interesting result for the research on new modes of governance, since existing European regulatory networks should, according to the Commission, be closer to modes of government than to new modes of governance, and in this sense, the role played by the Commission in ERGER is reinforced.