EC initiates infringement procedure against Romania for capping natural gas price
The European Commission (EC) has launched an infringement procedure against Romania related to a provision included in the controversial emergency ordinance (OUG) 114/2018, namely the one that compels local natural gas producers to sell their output at capped prices for three years starting March 2019, which breaches the European Gas Directive.
According to the Commission, such measures "are not adequate to achieve the objective of protecting households against excessive price increases." The EC sent Romania a notification about the failure to correctly apply the requirements of the Gas Directive (Directive 2009/73 / EC) and the Gas Safety Regulation (EU Regulation 2017/1938).
"Following the review of the legislative measures Romania adopted in December 2018, the Commission found that the newly regulated wholesale price system on the Romanian gas market is contrary to the EU legal requirements. The Commission also considers that these measures are not adequate to achieve the sustainable target of protecting home consumers against excessive price increases," the Commission's press release says.
Last week, local energy market regulator (ANRE) approved the methodology that compels producers (mainly Romgaz and OMV Petrom) to sell gas to suppliers at the price of RON 68 (EUR 14.3) / MWh for three years.
Romania’s Energy Ministry sent on January 9 “a five-page signed letter” to the European Energy Commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete, explaining why the Government needed to pass the emergency ordinance (OUG) 114/2018, energy minister Anton Anton said in a debate in the expert committee at the Chamber of Deputies, local Economica.net reported on February 27. The minister implied that the letter would stand as a notification for temporary regulation of the energy market due to market failures -- a procedure that allows countries such episodes, if adequately documented.
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