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Malta

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Report [COM(1999) 69 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 508 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 708 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1751 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1407 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1206 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

Malta was not expected to face specific problems in aligning its legislation with the acquis. However, the vast majority of the Community standards in this area still need to be transposed. Furthermore, special attention needs to be paid to restructuring Malta's institutional structures in order to separate policy formulation and regulation, and to reinforcing its capacity to implement the acquis.

No new legislation was enacted by Malta between February 1999 and February 2001. The country still has to adopt the bulk of the energy acquis, including legislation on the internal energy market (gas and electricity Directives), emergency preparedness, including building up oil stocks, and energy efficiency.

The November 2000 Report stated that no major legislative developments had taken place in this field. On the whole, Malta still had to transpose most of the acquis relating to energy.

In the November 2001 Report, the Commission stated that Malta had made considerable progress in the energy sector. The adoption of the Malta Resources Authority Act in January 2001 was a major step forward as the legislation provided a basis for alignment on the acquis in this sector. There had been progress on preparations for the internal energy market. However, further attention needed to be paid to this field, in particular to end the monopolies which still existed in some sub-sectors. Little progress had been made on security of supply, which is nonetheless an important area.

The October 2002 Report noted that Malta had made considerable progress. However, Malta's efforts now need to focus on the full and timely transposition of the Electricity Directive and the remaining acquis related to energy efficiency, as well as on the gradual building up of its oil stocks.

The 2003 Report said that Malta must gradually increase its oil stocks in accordance with the programme agreed at the accession negotiations and prepare to implement the electricity Directive. In addition it must complete the harmonisation of its legislation by adopting the implementing provisions relating to the 2002 acquis on energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

The main elements of the Community acquis in the field of energy consist of the provisions of the Treaty on European Union and the secondary legislation, in particular on competition and State aid, the internal energy market, (particularly the Directives on electricity, price transparency, gas and electricity transit, gas and oil, the granting of licences, emergency intervention measures and, in particular, security stock obligations, etc.) nuclear energy and energy efficiency and environmental compliance rules.

The Community acquis in the field of nuclear energy today consists of a framework of regulatory instruments and policies including international agreements. At present it covers matters relating to health and safety (in particular radiation protection), the safety of nuclear installations, the management of radioactive waste, investment, the promotion of research, the creation of a nuclear common market, supply, safeguards and international relations.

EVALUATION

Malta has no indigenous energy sources and is dependent on imported fuels. Its primary energy supply needs are met by crude oil and oil products. However, there are no refineries in Malta. As regards its electricity consumption, the Maltese electricity network is an isolated network in terms of EU legislation.

Since the last annual report, Malta has achieved a relatively high level of alignment on the energy acquis, but must continue to work towards full transposition, especially as regards security of supply and energy efficiency. Malta also still has to adopt a national energy strategy. It has ratified the Energy Charter and its Protocol.

In terms of competitiveness and the internal energy market, Malta has adopted an initial series of measures to bring itself into line with the acquis, an important one being the setting up of the Malta Resources Authority in February 2001. The Authority, which is independent, is responsible for regulating the energy sector and for energy policy. The island must make a particular effort to implement the Authority Act and to restructure the electricity market monopoly dominated by Enemalta. There are no natural gas or solid fuel markets in Malta.

As far as security of supply is concerned, in 2002 Malta adopted a series of regulations aiming to align its legislation with the acquis on oil stocks and oil supply crisis management. The Malta Resources Authority now has the necessary administrative capacity in place but needs to become more assertive.

Malta still has to complete the process of aligning its legislation on the acquis as regards energy efficiency. In February 2001, the Maltese government adopted the Product Safety Act to move further into line with the acquis, especially as regards labelling standards and energy efficiency. The use of renewable forms of energy should be promoted: apart from tax relief (VAT) on solar power, Malta has not provided any other incentive for saving energy or using renewable energy sources.

In the area of competitiveness and the internal energy market, there has been limited progress with the adoption of a regulation aiming to align its legislation with the common rules for the internal market in natural gas. For electricity the Maltese Parliament has adopted framework legislation and implementing provisions aligned on the acquis. These will enter into force on accession. However, the price distortions which remain in the electricity sector must be eliminated.

On energy efficiency and renewable energy, Malta adopted a set of regulations aiming at aligning its legislation with the energy efficiency and labelling acquis. The administrative structures, the chief of which is the Malta Resources Authority, are in place but need more staff.

Malta does not use nuclear energy for power generation and has no plans to develop nuclear energy in the future. However, it is still affected by nuclear safety requirements as it carries out other activities in the nuclear field such as the management of radioactive waste from public bodies, mainly industry and the medical sector. The European Union regards nuclear safety as an important area in the enlargement process, which is why, in June 2001, the Council adopted a report on nuclear safety in the context of enlargement. The Council makes general recommendations for all the candidate countries concerning, inter alia, the management of radioactive waste and the need to ensure proper regulatory surveillance, in accordance with the good practices followed in the EU. Malta should act to bring itself into line with Euratom standards and procedures, in particular safeguards. Malta has concluded a full scope safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), but has not yet signed the additional protocol to the agreement.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

 
Last updated: 01.03.2004
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