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International cooperation - energy

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) makes sure there is competition on the energy market. Competition delivers benefits to consumers. Because of competition, many energy companies seek to be the best and the most affordable. As a result, consumers have more choice.

The Dutch markets for electricity and natural gas increasingly become regional or European markets

Thanks to network connections with other countries, our electricity may come from German wind turbines or from Norwegian hydropower plants. And the Groningen field is not our only source of natural gas: it also comes from Russia. That is why ACM considers international cooperation in energy a vital part of its work.

ACM plays an active role in the creation of European energy rules. And ACM aligns as much as possible the regulations that affect the Dutch market with European developments. To this end, ACM closely cooperates with fellow regulators within the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER).


ACER is an organization promoting better cooperation between electricity and gas regulators in EU countries. Two of its tasks are:

  • Drawing up guidelines and assessing upcoming European Grid Codes,
  • Giving advice on major infrastructure projects.

ACER is based in Slovenia, and has its own staff. However, many of its activities are carried out by the individual European regulators.

What does ACM do in ACER?

ACM sits on various ACER working groups, and also co-chairs several working groups and taskforces:

  • The electricity infrastructure taskforce. This taskforce focuses on electricity grids, and particularly on the expansion and economic regulation thereof.
  • The Gas Regional Initiative North West (GRI NW). This is a regional collaboration for natural gas.

In addition, ACM co-chairs the electricity working group.

More information about ACER


ACM is also a member of the Council for European Energy Regulators (CEER). Within CEER, all European energy regulators work together on a voluntary basis. CEER is a different body than ACER, and primarily focuses on ancillary topics such as:

  • Cooperation with countries outside of Europe;
  • Sustainability;
  • Consumers.

In addition, CEER works towards a more efficient utilization of the distribution systems. This is realized, for example, through the development of intelligent systems. More and more renewable energy is generated, and such generation depends on the weather (for example on the sun and wind). By better matching energy demand, the time of renewable generation, and system availability, it becomes possible to consume energy that is more sustainable and more affordable. All energy regulators of the European Union are represented in CEER, including Norway and Switzerland.

What does ACM do for CEER?

ACM actively contributes to the exchange of experiences and to the creation of a joint vision on European regulatory policies. ACM also helps bringing together knowledge of and expertise on market regulation and infrastructure for policy discussions at a European level.

More information about CEER

The Florence and Madrid forums

The Florence forum for electricity and the Madrid forum for natural gas are discussion groups. Participants include not just representatives from energy regulators, but also representatives from national governments and international trade organizations. Both of these forums are chaired by the European Commission. Emphasis lies on the creation of a single European energy market instead of having 28 separate, liberalized submarkets.

More information about the Florence forum

More information about the Madrid forum

More information