Sélecteur de langues
Brussels, 6 July 2005
Today the European Commission decided to bring Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain and Luxembourg before the Court of Justice of the European Communities and to send a reasoned opinion to Portugal, for failure to transpose into their national law either one or both of the two EU Directives on the internal gas and electricity markets. This is the third stage in the infringement procedure after the Commission sent letters of formal notice to 18 States in October 2004. The situation has improved considerably, especially in the countries of northern Europe (Belgium, Germany and Sweden), but the situation in the Iberian Peninsula still gives cause for concern. “This legislation is an essential step towards the completion of a truly competitive EU energy market and vital for the success of the Lisbon strategy”, said Andris Piebalgs, the Commissioner responsible for energy.
The Commission decided to bring before the Court of Justice five Member States (see table attached) which, despite the reasoned opinions, have not yet transposed the Directive on the internal electricity market and/or the Directive on the internal gas market and to send a reasoned opinion to Portugal with regard to the transposition of the electricity Directive.
These two Directives are fundamental to the opening up of the electricity and gas markets in the EU. In practice, they have provided freedom of choice of supplier for industrial customers since 1 July 2004 and will provide this for domestic customers from 1 July 2007. The Directives combine opening up to competition with maintaining service quality, universal service, the protection of vulnerable customers and the objectives of security of supply.
The Directives will determine the shape of the EU energy market in the years to come and will serve as a basis for the development of energy partnerships with the EU's neighbours, in particular in the Western Balkans.
The Commission would point out that actual opening up to competition is not only something that can be assessed from the moment the Directives are transposed but will also be reflected by economic indicators such as the number of changes of supplier and price. This is why it is closely monitoring the integration and degree of opening up of the energy markets to competition and each year it publishes a benchmarking report. Before 1 January 2006 the Commission will publish an overall report on the functioning of the market. At the proposal of Commissioners Neelie Kroes and Andris Piebalgs it also decided, on 13 June 2005, to open an inquiry in the energy sector (see IP/05/716).
The combined approaches (monitoring of legislation, benchmarking report and sectoral inquiry) are a strong and coordinated response to consumer worries, guaranteeing freedom of choice of supplier and access to energy at a fair price.
 Directives 2003/54/EC and 2003/55/EC, 26.6.2003.
Etat de la communication des mesures de transposition
(MNE – mesures nationales d’exécution)