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Discrimination of hydrotreated vegetable oil

Kirjallinen kysymys komissiolle

Satu Hassi (Verts/ALE) 23.11.2011

The renewable energy directive aims to increase the share of renewable energy and develop the market. According to Article 27 of the directive, the deadline for transposition was 5 December 2010. The Commission’s website shows that it has initiated infringement proceedings against 23 member states for failing to communicate their transposition measures in time.

However, the enforcement policy should also look at the content of the national legislation. In this respect, it has been brought  to my attention that the Commission has received both formal and informal complaints regarding the lawfulness of the transposition measures adopted or in the process of being adopted in a number of member states. These report i.a. numerous instances of discrimination and barriers to free movement concerning certain categories of renewable fuel, in particular hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO). National legislation should not favour certain technologies or prevent market  access for some as long as they meet the climate and environmental  criteria.

It appears that the Commission has not yet taken any steps in order to remedy these infringements of the internal market rules as it continues to adhere to a purely procedural enforcement approach. The difference in treatment between Portugal and Poland is a good example. The implementing legislation adopted in Portugal and the measures about to be adopted in Poland both breach the EU legislation. Yet, the Commission has initiated infringement proceedings against Poland only because, as opposed to Portugal, it has not yet formally implemented the RES directive.

– Has the Commission already begun to review the compatibility of national legislation transposing the RES directive with EU law, in particular with the internal market rules? If not, does it intend to do so and when?

– When does the Commission expect to launch proceedings against member states breaching EU law in transposing the directive?