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Brussels, 27 June 2007

Commission takes action against Luxemburg and Ireland regarding EU rules on electricity and gas

Today the European Commission sent reasoned opinions to Ireland and Luxemburg for failing to implement the security of supply Directive on gas. Furthermore, Luxemburg has not yet provided follow up on a Court judgement for not having implemented directives establishing common rules for the internal market on electricity and gas. The Commission has thus clearly confirmed its commitment to the implementation of internal energy market legislation.

As regards the non-implementation of the security of supply Directive on gas[1], the Commission has issued a reasoned opinion for lack of full and complete implementation of the rules. The Commission had already sent a letter of formal notice to Luxemburg and Ireland in July 2006. The two countries now have two months to submit their observations to the Commission, which may then decide to bring the case before the European Court of Justice.

Where EU legislation on the internal market on electricity and gas[2] is concerned, the Court of Justice already ruled against Luxembourg in 2006 for failing to fulfil its obligations. The Commission subsequently sent letters of formal notice to Luxembourg. Although Luxemburg stated its intention to implement the Directives in reply, no such implementation has been communicated so far.

The current reasoned opinion is the second step in the procedure following the Court judgement. If Luxemburg fails to take the necessary measures within the established deadline, the Commission may bring the matter before the Court again and propose for a lump sum or penalty payment to be paid by Luxemburg.

The proper functioning of the European electricity and gas markets are of vital importance to helping the EU meet the challenges of energy security, ensure affordable prices for energy consumers and to minimizing harmful effects on the environment.

[1] (Directive 2004/67/EC)

[2] Directives 2003/54/EC and 2003/55/EC

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