Being able to transport electricity seamlessly across borders is essential for achieving three major European Union energy policy goals: (1) enabling competition between national energy companies, (2) cost-effective roll-out of renewables,and (3) security of supply. However, neither the market design nor the framework for infrastructure investment proposed by the European Commission is adequate for enabling free flows of electricity within the EU. We propose that first, vertical unbundling needs to be completed. Second, to ensure the reliable operation of the meshed European electricity system a European control centre should be established. Third, a truly European and binding network infrastructure planning process should be established. It should be transparent and open in order to ensure the synchronisation of investment.The outcome should be democratically legitimised. Finally, networks should be joint-funded by all benefiting parties, not just consumers that happen to live in the member state where a particular line is being built. Without a bold step the single energy market project risks falling short in the face of increased penetration of intermittent renewable sources and infrastructure planning that is focused on national cost minimisation.