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Brussels, 17 October 2007

Commission takes legal action against Member States for failing to submit their Energy Efficiency Action Plan

The European Commission today launched infringement procedures against Belgium, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden for failure to notify their national Energy Efficiency Action Plan by 30 June 2007, as required by the 2006 Energy End-Use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive[1]. The Action Plans should present national strategies on how to achieve a 9% energy savings target by the end of 2016 as well as how Member States comply with a number of other provisions of the Directive.

"National Energy Efficiency Action Plans show the commitment of Member States to the cleanest, cheapest and most secure of energies – the energy that we do not use. I am very disappointed to see that 12 Member States have yet to notify their plan", said Commissioner Piebalgs.

The purpose of the Directive is to make cost-effective improvements to energy end-use efficiency in Member States. Proper implementation of the Directive should create the necessary conditions for the development and promotion of a market for energy services and for the delivery of other energy efficiency measures to final consumers. It will also make important contributions to security of energy supply, competitiveness and sustainable development.

Although the Commission has indications that several Member States are well advanced in the drafting of their National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, their failure to meet the 30 June deadline obliges the Commission to seek legal action.

The European Union is facing unprecedented energy challenges resulting from climate change, increased import dependency and concerns over global fossil fuels supplies. Estimates show that the Union’s energy consumption is approximately 20% higher than can be justified on economic grounds. In March 2007 European Heads of State stressed the importance of the objective of saving 20% energy by 2020 in line with the Commission's Energy Efficiency Action Plan.

[1] Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2006 on the energy end-use efficiency and energy services, Official Journal L 114, 27/04/2006 P. 0064 – 0084

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