Published 18 May 2018
This article analyzes public service obligations (PSOs) in the natural gas markets of Ukraine and Moldova from perspective of their compliance with the EU acquis on energy, which is also a part of Energy Community acquis communautaire. The problems of PSOs in the natural gas market of Ukraine has been considered in the course of ongoing dispute between the Energy Community Secretariat and Ukraine since the August of 2017. Moreover, some similarity of Moldovan PSOs to Ukrainian provisions might also result in future disputes between the Energy Community and this country. The article focuses on the general provisions of services of general economic interest in EU legal system and on particular ECJ cases related to the natural gas markets in its introductory part and analyzes the current PSO schemes considering the EU experience in the main part in order to identify the optimal solution for PSOs reforms in natural gas markets of these countries. As a result, some practical recommendations on the improvement of current PSO schemes in Ukraine and Moldova are provided in relevant sections and conclusions of the article. The article’s main idea suggests that PSOs in the natural gas markets are to be provided in less market-restrictive way, which would bring more benefits to the consumers after the market liberalization.
The article’s findings and recommendations cover not only the existing PSOs, but also the projects of their reform in Ukraine and Moldova, which are very likely to be enacted in the near future, providing the suggestions for avoiding the past mistakes in the new PSO provisions in these countries.