Germany Challenges Commission’s Opening of In-Depth Investigation of EEG-Surcharge Reduction Before General Court

The German Federal Government on 28 February 2014 brought an action before the General Court of the European Union against the opening of an in-depth investigation of the Commission to examine whether the reduction granted to energy-intensive companies on the surcharge promoting renewable energy sources in Germany (“EEG-surcharge”) is compatible with EU state aid rules. State Secretary Baake stressed that the government still intends to reach a negotiated solution with the Commission.

The government reiterated its firm conviction that the EEG systems, including its reductions for energy-intensive companies, does not constitute state aid, and is in compliance with EU law. The action had to be brought as otherwise the time limit to challenge the Commission’s decision would have elapsed on 3 March 2014. It was intended solely to safeguard Germany’s position, for the unexpected case that it will not be possible to come to a solution in dialogue with the Commission.

State Secretary Rainer Baake highlighted that the aim was not to find a solution in court. Instead, it should be found within the current, constructive negotiations with the Commission. Howver, the positions were still apart. The Commission is looking for solutions that will work in all of Europe. On the other hand, Germany was in a special situation. Companies in other Member States would not have to carry burdens comparable to the EEG surcharge.

Source: BMWi

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