With the EU internal market for natural gas almost complete, the European Commission poses the question what optimization potential remains. An optimal structure for the natural gas market balances the goals of competition, competitiveness and supply security. An analytical framework capable of taking these into account applies a broad toolkit, using both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Quantitative analysis should combine simulation, benchmarking and stress tests. It encompasses the whole value chain, from production, via LNG, transport, storage and trade to consumption. The most promising areas for optimization are attracting more supplies to the EU, balancing infrastructure investment with cost control and facilitating trade by increasing market integration.