Independent regulatory agencies and rules harmonization for the electricity sector and renewables in the Mediterranean region
The paper analyses the existing regulatory framework for the electricity and renewables sectors, and the role of regulatory agencies in Northern Africa and Middle East countries, under the promotion by the European Union. Using data collected through an original survey directed at regulators, ministry departments and energy companies of the southern Mediterranean, the study is aimed at assessing the extent of agencies' independence looking at three main dimensions of independence: regulatory instruments available to regulators and decision making autonomy; regulators' organizational autonomy; and regulators accountability. Results show that those countries having established an independent regulator have a more credible regulatory framework than those countries in which such a body does not exist. In particular, the analysis shows that Turkey, Croatia and Jordan have defined a regulatory framework that limits administrative expropriation and, consequently, creates an environment more suitable for attracting investments in the electricity and renewables sector. On the institutional ground, this is probably related with the harmonization of regulatory standards promoted by the European Union through the neighboring policy, for the Jordan case, and the membership perspective, in the Turkish and Croatian cases.
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