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Brussels, 24 November 2010

Taxation: the Commission brings France before the Court of Justice for failing to adjust its system for taxing electricity

The European Commission today decided to bring France before the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to comply with the Directive on the taxation of energy and electricity products (Directive 2003/96/EC). Since France has not responded adequately to the reasoned opinion issued by the Commission on 18 March 2010 (IP/10/295), the Commission has decided to bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Under Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity, France had a transition period until 1 January 2009 to adapt its electricity taxation system. Currently, the French system ('local taxes on electricity') allows taxes to vary on a local basis, which means that consumers residing in one municipality do not pay the same taxes as consumers residing in another municipality or in another department. Such a system does not comply with the Directive.

The transition period has therefore expired without the necessary measures having been taken to bring French legislation into line with European law. Moreover, the proposal to reform the taxation of electricity currently being discussed before the French Parliament maintains a differentiation of taxes on a local basis, which is contrary to the Directive.

Press releases on infringement proceedings in the field of taxation or customs can be consulted at:

The latest general information on infringement proceedings against Member States can be found at:

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/10/605

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