Eighteen months after the European Union decided to liberalize its electricity markets, the French government has finally initiated a national debate within the country by publishing a White Paper on the subject. France has previously been reluctant to embrace liberalization.

The aim of the debate is to determine how the deregulated market will be created and what rules will be applied. The White Paper discussion document is being circulated to Electricité de France (EDF), leading union organizations and a range of social and economic organizations as well as members of the French parliament.

For liberalization to be implemented in France, the 1946 nationalization law, which involved the establishment of EDF, will have to be changed.