Energy 20 July, 2020 12:00 pm   

Czerwiński: The EU should protect its citizens against monopolies in the energy sector

Energy companies around the world have been consolidating capital for years now, which means sooner or later Polish firms will need to face this process as well. The goal is to be able to compete on the global market. Entering this difficult area incurs risks for both companies as well as consumers, which is why it should be very well-prepared, planned with precision and implemented in line with a clear strategy – Andrzej Czerwiński, former state treasury minister in Civic Platform’s government, said in a commentary for

Political goals and rational actions

Unfortunately according to Czerwiński, the decisions of the current government show that politics and propaganda dominated rational thinking. “Examples include the failure of Polish entrepreneurship when it comes to the capital of energy companies, the departure from a competitive power and electricity market, i.e. the practical exclusion of the TGE (Polish Power Exchange), or the earlier decision to purchase the Mažeikiai refinery. The government did not draft an energy policy, which should act as a set of guidelines for companies and the society for the next couple of decades,” Czerwiński added.
He also said that the most important decisions are made by politicians who often act contrary to the interest of the companies. Then the firms have to bear the costs, which are in turn passed on their customers. “This kind of management causes drops in stock value and leads to monopolizing the market. Let me remind you that in our country, the price of power was set by the government,” he said.

When it comes to the recent announcements about consolidating the domestic energy market, our interlocutor stated that the plans confirmed his concerns because Orlen is preparing a program to establish a large fuel and energy conglomerate. “Will it remember that clients and citizens should be the main subjects of its business activities? I doubt that,” he said.

Czerwiński stressed that the best way to achieve synergy is to consolidate effective and efficient companies that together are able to capture new markets by offering attractive products at a reasonable price. “Fortunately, we are in the EU, which monitors competition and monopolies. I am convinced that the remedial measures required by the European Commission that Orlen, LOTOS, Energa and PGNiG need to implement to merge, will prevent the establishment of a state-owned energy monopoly in Poland. I encourage the government to bring back a competitive energy market in Poland, present an energy policy until 2035 and finally plan the consolidation of energy companies,” he concluded.