This dissertation was written as part of the MSc in
Energy Law, Business, Regulation
and Policy at the International Hellenic University. Under specific derogations from the European energy law, the natural gas
market in Greece, specifically as regards the distribution activity, was far from being
liberalized, until the voting of L. 4336 in August
The natural gas market reform, imposed by the Greek Third Bailout Package of
August 2015, has significant impact on EPAs’ concession agreements and shareholders’
value, but also presents significant challenges at
legal, regulatory, strategic and
operational level. The companies were transformed from their previous organizational
model to a fully regulated network activity under strict regulatory oversight and a
competitive supply activity, along with abolishment
of their exclusive rights to
distribute and supply natural gas in their license
areas. Gradual eligibility for all natural
gas consumers until the end of 2017 is another important provision of the law.
Moreover, the law provides for a fully competitive
environment for the supply activity,
a new licensing regime, issue of distribution code
and regulations, and regulated
distribution tariffs, under the competence and control of the Regulatory Authority for
The purpose of my dissertation is to highlight the
recent developments in the
national legal framework regarding the liberalization of the natural gas market in
Greece, focused on the distribution and retail market supply activity, along with the
impacts and challenges for the natural gas companies. In this context, the general
aspects of European and national energy law concerning upstream activities, i.e.
natural gas production and transmission, and aspect
s of security of supply and cross-
border trade are not examined in the present paper.
Hence, this dissertation describes the main legislative and regulatory provisions
prior to and after the aforementioned law. Chapter
1 is an introduction to the subject.
The previous legal framework, on a European and national level is described in Chapter
2, focusing on the derogations from the European directives, as applied in national
legislation and on the natural gas market. Chapter
3 refers to the current legal
framework, namely the third liberalization package
and its transposition to the
national Energy Law 4001 in 2011.
Chapter 4 presents the new pieces of legislation passed by the Greek
government in 2015 and afterwards, namely L. 4336/2
015 and its amendments. The
new framework and its legal aspects are analysed in
a critical manner, presenting in
addition the challenges it poses for the market players, especially the gas supply and
distribution companies, formerly known as EPAs.
Finally, key conclusions are presented in Chapter
5 of the dissertation