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European Commission takes legal action against Estonia over energy regulation

Estonian news - eteap January 24, 2013

Baltic News Service, 24.01.2013

The European Commission is referring Estonia as well as Britain and Bulgaria to the European court because the countries have not fully adopted the EU internal energy market rules.

To date Bulgaria, Estonia and the UK have only partially transposed the Electricity and Gas Directives which EU member states had to incorporate in their laws by March 3, 2011, the EU executive said.

For Estonia, the commission proposes daily penalties of 5,068.8 euros for the partially transposed Electricity Directive and of 4,224 euros for the partially transposed Gas Directive.

“The EU needs an internal energy market to tackle Europe’s energy and climate challenges and to ensure affordable and secure energy supplies to households and businesses. Delays in implementation of the EU Internal Energy Market rules have negative effects on all players and are therefore not acceptable,” the EU energy commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, said in a press release.

The penalties proposed take into account the duration and the gravity of the infringement, the Commission said. In case of an affirmative judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the daily penalty is to be paid from the date of the judgment until the transposition is completed. The final amount of the daily penalties will be decided by the court.

The Commission has addressed the issue of not fully transposing the directives in the three countries by sending letters of formal notice in September 2011. Reasoned opinions as regards both directives were sent to Bulgaria in February 2012 and to the UK in April 2012.

Reasoned opinions as regards the Gas and Electricity Directives were sent to Estonia in February and April 2012, respectively. Despite these proceedings, full transposition is still pending in the three member states.

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


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