Balance Of Power

ENEL/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

IN THE PIPELINE: A plant belonging to Enel, which is keen to expand its holdings outside Italy's borders

Some European goals sound so simple, so virtuous. Take, for a huge example, creating a single European market for energy, a prize that has been on the agenda for years. Once dominated by national gas and electricity monopolies, the E.U. is pushing to open energy markets. By next year, almost all households and businesses will have the freedom to shop around for a power supplier. "An open and competitive single E.U. market is crucial" if businesses are to compete and consumers thrive, Brussels' Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes declared last month.

Now if only everyone could agree on how...

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