Abstract EU power market design has been focused on facilitating trading between countries and for this has defined interfaces for market participants and TSOs between countries. The operation of power systems and markets within countries was not the focus of these developments. This may have contributed to difficulties of defining or implementing a common perspective in particular on intraday and balancing approaches. This motivated us to pursue an in depth reviewof six European power markets to contribute to a better understanding of the common elements, differences and the physical and institutional reasons for these. With this paper we aim to present the main insights emerging from the reviews and to identify where there is a need for alignment of operational aspects and short-term trading arrangements, taking into account system requirements individual member states face in operating their power system.