The general objective of the Study was to assess the de jure and de facto independence of the national regulatory authorities (hereinafter: NRAs) in the field of energy and their effectiveness in performing key tasks in the following 12 Member States: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. New legislative provisions providing for further harmonisation of the powers and strengthening of the independence of the NRAs were created by Directive 2003/54/EC and Directive 2003/55/EC and were included in the reviewed Directive 2009/72/EC (hereinafter: 2009 Electricity Directive) and Directive 2009/73/EC (hereafter: 2009 Gas Directive), which replaced the 2003 Directives. The 2009 Directives are broader in scope as the NRAs are now also charged with the more general objective of achieving an internal energy market. Specifically, the objectives and tasks of the NRAs are included in Articles 35-40 of the 2009 Electricity Directive and Articles 39-44 of the 2009 Gas Directive. In 2010, the European Commission published an interpretative note on the 2009 Directives, where it clarifies extensively the manner in which it interprets the abovementioned articles.