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CJEU Joined Cases C-80/18 to C-83/18 / Judgment

Asociación Española de la Industria Eléctrica (UNESA) and Others v Administración General del Estado and Others

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Court (Fifth Chamber)
Decision date:
07/11/2019

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Polluter-pays principle — Common rules for the internal market in electricity — Directive 2009/72/EC — Article 3(1) and (2) — Principle of non-discrimination — Financing the tariff deficit — Taxes applying only to undertakings which use nuclear energy to produce electricity.

Outcome of the case:

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

The principle of non-discrimination, as provided for in Article 3(1) of Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation establishing taxes on the production and storage of nuclear fuel and waste, such as those taxes at issue in the cases in the main proceedings, which apply only to electricity-generating undertakings using nuclear energy and the main objective of which is not to protect the environment but to increase the amount of revenue for the electricity financial system.

Article 3(2) of Directive 2009/72 must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation, such as that at issue in the cases in the main proceedings, when the environmental objective and the characteristics that define environmental taxes provided for in that legislation are not specified in the statutory provision having legislative force in that legislation.