Informations and abstract
The paper outlines the main features of the natural gas industry and, for each activity, outlines reasons for its opening, or failure to open, to competition, focusing on the most important regulatory issues. After a short description of the Directives enforced within the European Union, concerning the opening to competition of the natural gas sector, the paper reviews the guidelines of the liberalization process in Italy, which reached a milestone four years ago with the issuing of the legislative decree of May 24th 2000, n. 164. Finally, the paper identifies key unresolved problems, upon which the legislator should focus his attention, i.e. the forthcoming implementation of Directive 2003/55/EC and, in general, for the near future, for the fulfillment of the liberalization process of the Italian gas industry.