Harmonising consumer protection in the EU: is it desirable?

In September 2013, the European Commission issued a proposal to promote a single digital market across Europe, including harmonising consumer protection. But is this desirable at the EU level, and is it suitable for all member states—and should the proposal be assessed at a national level? Given the increasing focus of policymakers and regulators on consumer welfare, the issues raised in this article are potentially also relevant to ongoing regulatory reform initiatives in the energy sector

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A taxing question: the proposed financial transaction tax and public finances

What are the possible consequences of the European Commission’s proposed financial transaction tax (FTT) for the public finances of European governments? An Oxera report assessing the potential macroeconomic impacts of the proposed FTT found a significant risk that the imposition of the tax would actually worsen public finances, as it has a negative impact on other tax revenues from the economy, and increases the cost of funding government debt

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Regulated third-party access in heat markets: how to organise access conditions

In the May 2014 issue of Agenda , Harri-Pekka Korhonen, Head of Heat Policies and Regulation at Fortum Corporation, discussed EU policy, stakeholder expectations and the overall rationale for promoting competition in district heat (DH) markets. He now considers the appropriate definition and scope of heat market design, and how competitive conditions can be enhanced, and summarises key findings from recent Swedish and German surveys on third-party access (TPA) considerations in heat networks

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King Coal dethroned: the decline and fall of the British coal industry

The decline of the British coal-mining industry is the stuff of economic history textbooks. For a century, the industry has been contracting, and coalfields have gradually disappeared from the industrial map of Britain. The pace of decay accelerated after 1945—at the end of the war, the industry employed some 330,000 miners, and now it employs fewer than 2,000. Director at Oxera, Mike Toms, discusses his experience of the changes

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