EC Sends Reasoned Opinion to Croatia Concerning Energy Efficiency Directive

european commissionLPJ Issue 131, April 4 2015

The European Commission (EC) sent a reasoned opinion to Croatia, Austria, Ireland, Latvia and Romania, in order to ensure the full transposition of the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive (i.e. Directive 2012/27/EU).

The directive requires member states to achieve energy savings targets in the household, industry and transport sectors over the period 2014-2020. To attain these goals, member states are required to use Energy Efficiency Obligations Schemes and/or other targeted policy measures.  The transposition date was set for 5 June 2014.  Since Croatia had not transposed the directive on time, the EC initiated infringement procedures against the country.  The Croatian government now has two months to transpose the directive into national law; otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which could result in substantial financial penalties.

Under Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, the EC has broad discretionary authority to initiate enforcement proceedings against any member state which it considers to be in breach of its obligations under EU law.  The EC can start the procedure either in response to a complaint or on its own initiative, and can decide to discontinue the process at any point.  Also, the Commission cannot be held accountable if it does not initiate action despite receiving a complaint…

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