Case ENC 02/17: Ukraine / gas

summary of the case

registered: upon complaint 10.03.2017

 

 

In EU law, public service obligations evolved as a sector-specific tool for providing services of general economic interest (SGEIs). The European Commission explains SGEIs as economic activities which deliver outcomes in the overall public good that would not be supplied, or would be supplied under different conditions, without public intervention.

In particular, Article 3(2) of Directive 2009/73/EC allows for national legislation imposing public service obligations on natural gas undertakings provided that such obligations:

  • pursue a general economic interest;
  • comply with the principle of proportionality, i.e. impose public service obligations only in so far as is suitable and necessary to achieve their objectives in the general economic interest and, consequently, for a period that is necessarily limited in time; and
  • are clearly defined, transparent, non-discriminatory, verifiable and guarantee equal access for natural gas undertakings of the Energy Community to national consumers.

As its information presently stands, the Secretariat preliminarily concludes that certain aspects of Ukraine's Public Service Obligation Regulations are non-compliant with the criteria for public service obligations and internal market rules established by Directive 2009/73/EC and, by consequence, Article 3(2) of Directive 2009/73/EC. As the adopted PSO Regulations stand, they seem to fail to comply with the mandatory criteria for public service obligations, and in particular the clarity, transparency and non-discrimination as required under Article 3(2) of Directive 2009/73/EC.