EC refers Bulgaria to court for failing to transpose internal energy market rules

The European Commission said on January 24 2013 that it was referring Bulgaria, Estonia and the United Kingdom to the EU Court of Justice for failing to fully transpose the EU internal energy market rules.

To date Bulgaria, Estonia and the UK have only partially transposed the Electricity and Gas Directives. The directives had to be transposed by the EU member states by March 3 2011.

“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,” European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said.

For Bulgaria, for each partially transposed directive, the European Commission proposes a daily penalty of 8448 euro. For Estonia, the Commission proposes daily penalties of 5068.8 euro for the partially transposed Electricity Directive and of 4224 euro for the partially transposed Gas Directive. For the United Kingdom, the Commission requests the Court to impose a daily penalty payment of 148 177.92 euro for each of the partially transposed directives.

The penalties proposed take into account the duration and the gravity of the infringement. In case of an affirmative judgment of the Court, 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 European Commission said.

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 United Kingdom 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 EU member states.

The EC said that the January 24 2013 complements referrals to court adopted in October and November 2012.

“The current action concerns cases where the member Ssates have already adopted considerable new legislation pursuant to the third internal energy market package and have thus already transposed part of the requirements of the two directives into national law. However, some provisions contained in these directives are still not transposed. 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,” the EC said.

(Photo: Thomas Bush/




The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.