Seminar paper from the year 2008 in the subject Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance, University of Applied Sciences Hof, language: English, abstract: Energy is one of nowadays most frequently discussed issues. It becomes a more and more crucial factor for growth and competitiveness in Europe as well as worldwide. Dependable energy services at reasonable prices for business and household customers are essential elements for the economic and social development in the European Union (EU). In this context, a well-functioning Single European Market (SEM) is Europe's key to meet today's three main challenges in the energy sector: competitiveness, sustainability and security of supply. As a matter of fact, the way towards a SEM for energy is long and complex. A multitude of aspects play important roles. Outlining all of them would go far beyond the scope of this work. In consequence, this paper focuses on electricity only, leaving out the gas sector. Moreover, emphasis is put on the fundamental EU legislation and the development of the Regional Initiatives as a means to facilitate market integration. Topics of equal importance such as the technical requirements and prerequisites for the general market design had to be excluded from this composition.