Energy Community acquis

By adopting the Energy Community Treaty, the Contracting Parties made legally binding commitments to adopt core EU energy legislation, the so-called "acquis communautaire”. Decisions to adopt new acquis and amend existing legal commitments are generally taken by a majority of the votes cast of the Ministerial Council on the basis of a European Commission proposal.

The Treaty and its acquis evolve constantly to incorporate new sectors as well as update or replace older acts. To stay on track with the evolution of European Union law, Articles 24 and 25 of the Treaty allow the adaptation of the acquis and implementing of possible amendments. This ensures that the Contracting Parties keep pace with EU developments and continuously align their regulatory frameworks in the energy and related sectors to those of the EU.

In the meanwhile, the 'original' acquis has undergone several updates and there are new acts on statistics, oil and infrastructure. In November 2021, the first set of Clean energy package acts were incorporated into the Energy Community acquis.

  • Regulation (EU) 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure
    IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINES
    general implementation deadline
     31 December 2016
    implementation deadline Georgia
     30 June 2017
    Additional Information

    In the EU context, the huge need for investment in energy infrastructure was a key reason for proposing the Regulation on the Guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN-E Guidelines) in 2011. The TEN-E Guidelines provide a strategic framework for the long-term energy infrastructure vision of the EU and introduce the concept of projects of common interest. They identify nine strategic infrastructure priority corridors in the domains of electricity, gas and oil, and three EU-wide infrastructure priority areas for electricity highways, smart grids and carbon dioxide transportation networks.

    The Energy Community Ministerial Council adopted the Regulation (EU) 347/2013 with certain adaptations in October 2015. The purpose of the Regulation is to streamline the permitting procedure and facilitate investments in the energy infrastructure in order to achieve the Energy Community’s energy and environment policy objectives. 

    A year later, the ministers adopted the first list of Projects of Energy Community Interest. A revised list followed in 2018 and 2021. The selected projects may benefit from streamlined permitting, regulatory incentives, cross-border cost allocation procedures and funding under the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)  and the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF).

  • Directive 2011/92/EU of 13 December 2011 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment
    IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINES
    general implementation deadline
     1 January 2019
    implementation deadline Georgia*
     31 August 2017
    Additional Information

    The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive aims to secure that project’s impacts on a number of environmental factors (population and human health, biodiversity, land, soil, water, air, climate, landscape, material assets and cultural heritage) as well as concerns raised by the public are properly taken into account before development consent is granted.

    The EIA Directive also embodies the environmental democracy rights by imposing rules for effective and meaningful public consultations early in the process when all options are open and before the decision on the project is taken.

    The key document prepared is the environmental impact assessment study, compiled and submitted by the developer to the competent authorities for approval. Annexes I (projects that have significant effects and are subject to a mandatory assessment) and II (projects that are likely to have significant effects and subject to a screening by the authorities) to the Directive cover projects both in energy generation and transmission/distribution as well as storage of gas and petrochemical products.

    The first EIA Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 was substantially amended three times, in 2007, 2003 and 2009. In the interests of clarity and rationality in 2011, the codified Directive 2011/92/EU was adopted.

    In 2014 the codified Directive 2011/92/EU was amended by Directive 2014/52/EU that improved the definitions and the existing rules and requirements, in particular, the rules on EIA screening and the requirements concerning the content of the EIA report and the development consent. The Directive 2014/52/EU also introduced important novelties like the qualification of EIA experts, rules on conflict of interest and penalties in case of a breach.

     

    * The Accession Protocol of Georgia to the Energy Community Treaty refers to Directive 85/337/EEC and sets deadlines thereto. 
     

  • Directive (EU) 2016/802 of 11 May 2016 relating to a reduction in the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels
    IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINES
    general implementation deadline
     29 June 2018
    implementation deadline Georgia*
     31 August 2021
    Additional Information

    The 14th Ministerial Council adopted four decisions expanding the current scope of the environmental acquis and adapting existing pieces of it in October 2016. The decisions update the Environmental Impact Assessment  and the Sulphur in Fuels Directives to ensure their application in the Energy Community in their latest versions.

    The key objective of the Sulphur in Fuels Directive is to ensure effective protection from the risks resulting from SO2 emissions, by imposing thresholds meant to prevent sulphur deposition exceeding critical loads and levels. In doing so, the Directive covers two kinds of fuel oil, i.e. refined oil used for combustion with the purpose of generating heat or power. It sets the maximum sulphur content for heavy fuel oil and gas oil. 
     

    * The Accession Protocol of Georgia to the Energy Community Treaty refers to Directive 1999/32/EC and sets deadlines thereto. Directive 1999/32/EC was repealed by Decision 2016/15/MC-EnC adapting and implementing Directive (EU) 2016/802 relating to a reduction in the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels.  

  • Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/253 of 16 February 2015 laying down the rules concerning the sampling and reporting under Council Directive 1999/32/EC as regards the sulphur content of marine fuels
    IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINES
    general implementation deadline
     1 January 2018
    Document Downloads
    Related Document Downloads
    Additional Information

    Directive (EU) 2016/802 sets the requirement to sample and analyse fuel in order to determine its sulphur content. The scope of Directive focuses on fuels used for land applications. Therefore while there is experience on national monitoring of sulphur content in fuel in the Contracting Parties of the Energy Community, the implementation time-limit and percentages for the obligation of yearly sampling frequencies of marine fuels Decision (EU) 2015/253, have been set in this Decision in order to give the competent authorities sufficient time to plan resources in view of the increased volume of fuel inspection by sampling to be carried out in ports.

  • Directive 2001/80/EC of 23 October 2001 on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants
    IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINES
    general implementation deadline
     31 December 2017
    NERP / SO2 Ukraine deadline
     31 December 2028
    NERP / NOx Ukraine deadline
     31 December 2033
    existing plants / SO2 Ukraine deadline
     1 January 2029
    existing plants / NOx Ukraine deadline
     1 January 2034
    implementation deadline Georgia
     30 December 2018
    Additional Information

    With their signatures of the Treaty, the Contracting Parties agreed to limit the air pollutant emissions originating from large combustion plants (LCP). Directive 2001/80/EC determines the type of applicable combustion plans, the measures to reduce the emissions, including the respective deadlines. 

    With Decision 2013/05/MC-EnC, the ministers provided the Contracting Parties the possibility to use, until 31 December 2027, the option of national emission reduction plans (NERPs).  NERPS stand for an implementation alternative to the emission limit values, where compliance is not verified at individual, plant-by-plant level. Instead of it, the Party can choose to set an overall emission ceiling at national level. Such a emission ceiling is calculated on the basis of the Directive’s emission limit values. As a result, the Contracting Parties have more flexibility in deciding on the sequence of investments that are necessary to be made in their respective energy sectors. 

    Another instrument that was also adapted for the Energy Community needs is the “opt-out” (limited lifetime derogation) possibility. The Ministerial Council agreed that the opt-out would be applicable between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2023, for a total number of 20 000 operational hours. This equals to approx. 2,3 years.That means that if a plant is run at full load, it would already reach the end of its opt-out period by early 2020.

  • Directive 2010/75/EU of 24 November 2010 on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control)
    IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINES
    general new plants deadline
     1 January 2018
    new plants deadline Georgia
     31 August 2018
    general existing plants deadline
     1 January 2028
    existing plants deadline Georgia
     31 August 2026
    existing plants / SO2 Ukraine deadline
     1 January 2029
    existing plants / NOx Ukraine deadline
     1 January 2034
    Additional Information

    Based on Ministerial Council Decision 2013/06/MC-EnC, only Chapter lll, Annex V, and Article 72(3)-(4) of Directive 2010/75/EU are applicable in the Energy Community.   The ministers also agreed that in the case of new plants, Contracting Parties have to implement the provisions of the Industrial Emissions Directive as of 1 January 2018. This applies for completely new constructions or for existing plants where a complete retrofit is carried out. In order to avoid possible “regret investments”, the Contracting Parties are encouraged to carry out projects that would be in line with the requirements of that Directive prior to the deadline.

    In the case of existing plants, the Contracting Parties were initiatelly invited to endeavour the implementation of the Directive. Based on the review clause in Decision 2013/06/MC-EnC, the Ministerial Council set an implementation deadline of the Industrial Emissions Directive for existing plants at its 2015 meeting. Contracting Parties shall implement the provisions of Chapter III and Annex V of the Directive in the case of existing plants by 1 January 2028 at the latest. Prior to that date, they shall endeavour to implement the provisions of Chapter III and Annex V within the shortest possible timeframe, in particular in the case of retrofitting existing plants.

  • Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds
    IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINES
    general implementation deadline
     30 June 2006
    implementation deadline Moldova
     30 December 2010
    implementation deadline Ukraine
     1 January 2015
    implementation deadline Georgia
     31 August 2019
    Document Downloads
    Additional Information

    The main aim of the Wild Birds Directive is the long-term conservation of naturally occurring wild birds in Europe. Article 4 of the Directive is a central element in that respect. It requires the adoption of special conservation measures concerning the habitat of certain endangered species, and in particular the classification of suitable territories as special protection areas.

  • Directive 2004/35/EC of 21 April 2004 on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage, as amended by Directive 2006/21/EC, Directive 2003/31/EC
    IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINES
    general implementation deadline
     1 January 2021
    Document Downloads
    Related Document Downloads
    Additional Information

    The aim of Directive 2004/35/EC is to establish a framework of environmental liability based on the ‘polluter-pays’ principle, to prevent and remedy
    environmental damage. The Ministerial Council Decision adapts the scope of Directive in order to limit the liability of operators to the extent they relate to the energy sector.

  • Directive 2001/42/EC of 27 June 2001 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment
    IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINES
    general implementation deadline
     30 March 2018
    Document Downloads
    Additional Information

    The aim of Directive 2001/42/EC is to provide for a high level of protection of the environment and to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of plans and programmes with a view to promoting sustainable development, by ensuring that an environmental assessment is carried out of certain plans and programmes which are likely to have significant effects on the environment. 

  • Directive 2018/2001 of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources
    IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINES
    general implementation deadline
     30 December 2022
    Document Downloads
    Related Document Downloads
    Additional Information

    The 2021 Ministerial Council adopted five key legislative acts stemming from the EU’s Clean energy for all Europeans package. Renewables, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030 will be adopted at the next Ministerial Council in 2022, following the finalization of a study by the European Commission.

    The new Renewables Directive 2018/2001 will introduce new rules on support schemes, which shall be granted in an open, transparent, competitive, non-discriminatory and costeffective manner, and measures to tackle administrative barriers. It strengthens the existing sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids and extends it to biomass fuels and for the first time sets an indicative target for increasing the use of renewables in heating and cooling sector. It also empowers consumers, introducing the concept of renewable self-consumption and energy communities.

  • Annex III of the Treaty: EC Competition Rules
    IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINES
    general implementation deadline
     1 January 2007
    implementation deadline Moldova
     1 November 2010
    implementation deadline Ukraine
     31 July 2011
    implementation deadline Georgia
     30 June 2018
    Related Document Downloads
    Additional Information

    The Treaty establishing the Energy Community regulates the legal framework on competition in Chapter IV Title II. The acquis on competition rests on three pillars:

    1. The prohibition of anti-competitive agreements established by Article 101 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU);
    2. The prohibition of abuse of a dominant position provided for in Article 102 TFEU; and
    3. The prohibition of State aid granted in violation of Article 107 TFEU and the principles of the Treaty.

    With reference to Article 106 TFEU, public undertakings, including undertakings providing services of general economic interest, must also comply with the above rules.

    Contracting Parties are under an obligation to introduce, to the extent the trade of network energy between the Contracting Parties may be affected, rules prohibiting cartels (agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices), abuses of a dominant position, and rules prohibiting State aid. The respective prohibitions are to be applied to public undertakings and undertakings to which special or exclusive rights have been granted by virtue of Article 19 of the Treaty.

    While the Treaty does not contain specific rules on mergers, the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union applying what is now Article 101 and Article 102 TFEU to concentrations is applicable to the Contracting Parties through Articles 18(2) and 94 of the Treaty.

    While the Contracting Parties, pursuant to Article 6 of the Treaty, are obliged to ensure efficient implementation of their obligations under the Treaty, of which efficient enforcement of the rules in substance is an important aspect, specific Energy Community acquis on competition and State aid law enforcement (procedures, institutions, sanctions, remedies etc.) are currently lacking.