France and Germany have still not opened their energy markets to competition – and the UK government is threatening to use its presidency of the European Union to force the issue, according to the Financial Mail in London. The Minister of Energy has said that if there is no change he will ask the European Commission to take the two countries to court, where they could face large fines.
He points out that both France and Germany have significant presence in the UK, but that similar opportunities for UK companies to invest in Europe are not available. The UK Government will give the issue top priority when it chairs the Energy Council meeting later this year. Britain has already sent a delegation to Brussels, including representatives from National Grid, Centrica, the DTI and regulator Ofgem, to call for the end of monopoly suppliers in France and Germany.