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CJEU Case C-5/19 / Judgment

„Оvergas Mrezhi“ AD and „Balgarska gazova asotsiatsia“ v Komisia za energiyno i vodno regulirane (KEVR)

Policy area:
Consumers
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Court (Tenth Chamber)
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
30/04/2020

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Common rules for the internal market in natural gas — Directive 2009/73/EC — Article 3(1) to (3) and Article 41(16) — Public service obligations — Natural gas storage obligations for the purposes of ensuring the security and regularity of supply — National legislation providing that the financial burden of the public service obligations imposed on the natural gas undertakings is to be passed on to their customers — Conditions — Adoption of a legal act by a national regulatory authority imposing a public service obligation — Procedure — Articles 36 and 38 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Outcome of the case:

On those grounds, the Court (Tenth Chamber) hereby rules:

  • Article 3(1) to (3) of Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 2003/55/EC, read in the light of Articles 36 and 38 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as not precluding legislation of a Member State which provides that the costs associated with the natural gas storage obligations imposed on natural gas undertakings in order to ensure the security and regularity of natural gas supply in that Member State are to be borne entirely by those undertakings’ customers, who may be private individuals, provided that that legislation pursues an objective of general economic interest, that it complies with the requirements of the principle of proportionality and that the public service obligations which it lays down are clearly defined, transparent, non-discriminatory, verifiable and guarantee equality of access for EU gas undertakings to national consumers.
  • Directive 2009/73 must be interpreted as not precluding legislation of a Member State which releases the regulatory authority of that Member State, within the meaning of that directive, from the obligation to comply with certain provisions of national legislation governing the procedure for the adoption of normative legal acts where it adopts an act imposing a public service obligation within the meaning of Article 3(2) of the directive, provided that the otherwise applicable national legislation ensures that that legal act complies with the substantive requirements of that provision and is fully reasoned, published while preserving the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information and amenable to judicial review.