On 24 March 2009, the European Parliament and Council Presidency reached an informal political compromise on the Third Energy Market Liberalisation Package (Energy Package). In 2007, the European Commission put forward its controversial plans for “ownership unbundling”, which (if approved) would have meant the break-up of many of the EU vertically integrated energy giants. The proposal faced serious resistance from a number of Member Sates and in February 2008, an alternative proposal was presented by France, Germany and several other Member States. Under the Czech Presidency of the Council, a deal has been brokered that will give Member States the choice between three options: (i) full ownership unbundling preventing a production or supply company from control of an electricity or gas network; or (ii) retention of ownership but operation of the network by an independent system operator; or (iii) retention of ownership but supervision by an independent transmission operation and strict compliance obligations. In addition, the energy package contains measures intended to improve consumer rights, guarantee universal service for electricity to all householders and special protection rights for vulnerable consumers. The compromise solution is still to be formally accepted by the European Parliament and Council.