The Slovenia Times

Slovenia Referred to EU Court over Energy Directives


The directives, which are part of the EU internal energy market rules, should have been transposed by the member states into national law by 3 March 2011.

European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said that the final establishment of an internal energy market was necessary to ensure reliable energy supply at affordable prices to companies and households.

"Implementing suitable legal framework in each member state is prerequisite for the internal energy market to become reality," the commissioner stressed.

Slovenia can avoid the fine in the case of the energy market rules if it fully implements both directives in its national law before the ruling is handed down.

If the court confirms the Commission's position, Slovenia will have to pay the fine from the date of the declaration of the ruling until full transposition of the directives.

Slovenia received first warning from the Commission over the energy directives in September 2011, followed by a second formal notice in June this year, but has so far failed to act on the reprimands.

The energy market package includes 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.

Slovenia was also formally urged by the Commission today to ensure full compliance with the framework directive on the sustainable use of pesticides; to clean up landfills; and to transpose EU legislation on rail interoperability.

Agriculture and Environment Minister Franc Bogovič noted that he expected the issue regarding the use of pesticides to be tackled "by the end of the week" as the relevant bill had passed the second reading in parliament today.

According to him, the problem of landfills was the first he encountered as he came into office and that "it is a demanding field that doesn't for which there is no simple solution". However, it will be known within two months which landfills would close by 2015 and which would remain, Bogovič stressed.

Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Minister Zvone Černač meanwhile said that railway legislation was also facing some delays, as it is "a slightly more demanding area that is connected with a number of activities".

The government has already discussed and harmonised norms in some parts, while the necessary changes to the legislation should be implemented by the end of the year, according to the minister.

In all three cases these are second warnings: if the country does not react accordingly within two months, the Commission may refer the matters to the EU court.


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