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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 November 2012

Internal energy market: Commission refers Poland and Finland to Court for failing to fully transpose EU rules

The European Commission is referring Poland and Finland to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to fully transpose the EU internal energy market rules. To date Poland has transposed the Gas Directive into national law only partially. Finland has not fully transposed neither the Electricity nor the Gas Directive. These directives had to be transposed by the Member States by 3 March 2011.

"Enforcement of the internal energy market legislation is vital for the completion of the single market," said Commissioner Oettinger, the EU Energy Commissioner. “Today’s infringement cases follow our last week’s Communication on internal energy market. The legislation lays the groundwork for a truly functioning market and we are serious about achieving this everywhere in the EU. Only then can consumers reap all the benefits a competitive market can offer.”

For Poland, the Commission proposes a daily fine of € 88819,2. For Finland, the Commission proposes a daily fine of € 32140,8 for the non-transposed Electricity Directive and a daily fine of € 28569,6 for the non-transposed Gas Directive. The daily penalties would be paid as from the date of the Court's affirmative ruling until Poland and Finland notify the Commission that they have fully implemented the rules into national law.

These financial penalties are proposed by the Commission under the Lisbon Treaty and take into account the duration and the gravity of the infringement and the size of the Member State. The final decision on the penalties rests with the Court.

The Commission has addressed the issue of not fully transposing the directives in the two countries by sending letters of formal notice to Finland and Poland in September and November 2011, respectively. Reasoned opinions were sent to Poland in June 2012 and to Finland in April 2012. Despite these proceedings, full transposition is still pending in these countries.

Today's referrals complement the referrals to court which have been adopted in October (IP/12/1139). The Commission is also examining the situation in other Member States to which it has addressed reasoned opinions for not fully transposing the Electricity and Gas Directives.

Background

In February 2011, the EU Heads of State and Governments declared the need to complete the internal energy market by 2014. To achieve this, timely and complete transposition of EU legislation on the single market of gas and electricity into national law is crucial. The third internal energy market package includes key provisions for a proper functioning of the energy markets, including new rules on unbundling of networks, rules strengthening the independence and the powers of national regulators and rules on the improvement of the functioning of retail markets to the benefit of consumers.

The concerned Directives of the Third internal energy market package are:

  • Directive on common rules for the internal market in gas (2009/73/EC)

  • Directive on common rules for the internal market in electricity (2009/72/EC)

Under the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, if Member States fail to transpose EU legislation into national law within the required deadline, the Commission may ask the Court to impose financial sanctions when referring the case for the first time.

More information

The Electricity Directive (2009/72/EC), and the Gas Directive (2009/73/EC), can be consulted here.

Commission web page on the Internal Energy Market:

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/gas_electricity/index_en.htm.

Current figures on infringements in general can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/infringements/infringements_en.htm.

On the November infringement package decisions, see MEMO/12/876.

On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12.

Contacts :

Marlene Holzner (+32 2 296 01 96)

Nicole Bockstaller (+32 2 295 25 89)


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