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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.

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Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2002 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(98) 701 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(1999) 509 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2000) 709 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001 1752 - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1408 - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1206 - Not published in the Official Journal]Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]


In its Opinion of July 1997, the European Commission felt that Poland should be in a position to comply with most Community energy legislation over the next few years. However, it stressed the need to monitor certain matters carefully, such as the adjustment of monopolies (including import and export issues), access to networks, import barriers for oil products, energy pricing, emergency preparedness (including the building up of mandatory oil stocks), state intervention in the coal sector and the improvement of energy efficiency and fuel quality standards.

The November 1998 Report confirmed the need to make further efforts in the areas referred to above, while acknowledging that the situation has evolved positively.

The October 1999 Report found that Poland has achieved a moderate level of compliance with the acquis in this field but, although some progress has been made, it stressed the need for restructuring, especially in the gas sector. Further efforts were needed in various sectors, such as the preparation of the internal energy market, including the adjustment of monopolies. Compliance with Euratom provisions did not seem to pose any difficulties, but the management of spent fuel from the experimental nuclear reactor at Swierk needed to be examined.

The Commission noted in its November 2000 Report that the extent of alignment with the acquis in this area and the preparations for EU accession varied enormously from one sub-sector to another. Despite the progress made in restructuring and privatising certain sub-sectors and in general policy making in this area, significant progress still needed to be made. The report stressed that areas such as the preparation of the internal energy market, energy safety, strategic stockpiles and the conversion of the gas and oil sub-sectors should receive particular attention. The administrative structure was well established and greater attention should be paid to policy making and its follow-up.

In its November 2001 Report, the Commission considered that Poland had moved ahead with its transposition of the acquis since the last report and was continuing to make consistent progress in framing policy in general. Alignment with the acquis on security of supply had progressed and Poland had signed agreements with third countries to ensure improved security of supply. There had been progress in making ready for the internal market, particularly with regard to restructuring and privatisation in the electricity sector. Further action needed to be taken, however, to align with the acquis in this field. Important matters such as price distortions and network access had to be tackled. Restructuring in the fuel sector (particularly coal mining) had progressed well, but debt was increasing in that sector. Poland had made headway in aligning with the acquis in terms of energy efficiency and greater attention had to be paid to implementing the measures.

The October 2002 Report found that Poland had made some progress with regard to transposition and implementation of the acquis. The restructuring and privatisation process had not advanced at the same pace as in previous years. With regard to energy policy in general, the Council of Ministers adopted the biannual Energy Policy Outlines in 2002.

The 2003 Report points out that Poland is essentially meeting the commitments and requirements arising from the accession negotiations in the energy sector. Poland needs progressively to build up oil stocks in line with the schedule agreed during the negotiations and should further strengthen relevant administrative structures.

The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.


The key elements of the energy acquis are Treaty provisions and secondary legislation, particularly concerning competition, State aid, the internal energy market (including directives on electricity, price transparency, gas and electricity transit, hydrocarbons licensing, emergency response and, in particular, security stock obligations), nuclear energy, energy efficiency and respect for the environment.

The Community acquis in the field of nuclear energy today comprises a framework of legal and political instruments, including international agreements. It currently addresses issues of health and safety (including radiation protection), safety of nuclear installations, management of radioactive waste, investment, promotion of research, creation of a nuclear common market, supplies, safeguards and international relations.

In the section on energy, the White Paper (preparing the associated CEECs for integration into the EU internal market) underlines the need for full implementation of key internal market directives in combination with EC competition law. As for the nuclear sector, the White Paper refers to problems of supply, safeguards and waste shipments.


Poland has reached a mid-point in aligning with the acquis, with progress still to be made in adopting legislation and setting up structures to implement it. Since the last report, Poland has made advances in the areas identified as significant such as the preparation of the internal energy market and securing the energy supply, including creating adequate oil stocks.

In February 2000, the Polish Government adopted a document entitled "The broad outlines of national energy policy for 2000-2020", a major step forward identifying the main aims of preparing the energy sector for accession.

As regards security of supply, alignment with the acquis has gone forward satisfactorily and Poland has increased its oil stocks to slightly more than two-thirds of the quantity required under the acquis. In addition, Poland has signed an agreement with Sweden to improve the security of the electricity supply in the north of the country. Alignment with the acquis must now be completed. The law amending the Act on national reserves entered into force in 2002. Poland has made steady progress towards the required level of 90 days.

As regards the internal market and competitiveness, (electricity and gas sectors), a programme introducing the internal electricity market in Poland was adopted in April 2001. This sets out the tasks to be accomplished by the end of 2002 in order to create an operational Polish electricity market. Implementing the programme on time is vital. In 2002, the extent to which the Polish electricity market had opened up continues to be contingent on residual long-term agreements between the Polish grid company and the electricity producers. A new programme for the restructuring and privatisation of the gas sector was adopted in 2002. However, more extensive restructuring is needed in this sector. In May 2001, the Polish Government adopted a strategy to achieve this. It is particularly important to ensure that the market is opened up in accordance with objective, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria. In 2003, framework legislation, i.e. the Energy Law, is in place and in line with the acquis, as is the implementing legislation for the electricity sector. The gas sector is less advanced; implementing legislation, including through the elaboration of a grid code, needs to be completed.

The process to remove price distortions as well as to address long-term contracts in the electricity sector needs to be given due attention. The regulatory body, the Energy Regulatory Agency, whose task it is to oversee the gas and electricity markets, has been established but needs to be further strengthened, in particular to carry out its functions in the gas sector.

In the solid fuel sector, the restructuring of coal mining scheduled for 1998-2002 has been implemented without delay, a considerable achievement in the opinion of the Commission. In the period covered by the report, many mines were closed, mining capacity was reduced and the privatisation of the first two profitable mines was initiated. Problems remain, nonetheless. The rapid increase in debt in the coal sector is worrying and productivity still falls short of international standards. Preparations for privatisation must be more intensive, the necessary budget must be released and greater attention must be paid to the future role of coal in the country's energy planning. A new restructuring plan for the solid fuels sector, for the years 2003-2006, is being implemented.

In the oil sector, privatisation entered into a delicate stage in November 1999, with the appearance on the London and Warsaw stock exchanges of shares in the new Polish oil group, Polski Koncern Naftowy (PKN) the biggest oil-producing group in Poland. The privatisation of the group reached its third phase in November 2001. The privatisation of the second Polish oil company, the Gdanska SA (RG SA) refinery, is underway. The privatisation process should continue.

With regard to energy efficiency, while there has been progress on aligning with the acquis, the level of implementation is not satisfactory and must be boosted by the adoption of a coherent national policy. Poland has set up an energy efficiency centre, but support for other agencies in this field must also be increased. The level of energy efficiency in Poland is very low compared with the European Union. Poland should ensure full transposition of the acquis on the promotion of renewable energy sources and transposition of the new acquis according to the timetables provided for in the directives. Energy efficiency measures are being implemented on the basis of the government document "Energy Policy Outline to 2020".

In the nuclear sector, Poland has made good progress in aligning with the acquis. There are no nuclear power stations in Poland, but Poland does have five research reactors. One is still operating as a radioactive waste disposal facility. A new modern repository is required, and the site selection procedure has started. Poland is therefore concerned by the nuclear safety measures which are a very important part of the enlargement process. That is why, in June 2001, In June 2001, the Council of the European Union took note of a Report on Nuclear Safety in the Context of Enlargement, which recommends that all the candidate countries continue their national programmes regarding the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, and regarding the safety of their research reactors. The national atomic energy agency is responsible for the nuclear facilities in Poland. Poland will need to ensure compliance with Euratom requirements and procedures, particularly as regards ensuring that safety is monitored. In November 2000, Poland adopted a revised law on atomic energy which comes into force in January 2002 on this. Poland has signed an agreement and an additional protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and has completed the ratification of the Energy Charter Treaty. In 2002, the Government adopted several ordinances aimed at transposing the acquis on European efficiency requirements for household equipment and hot-water heater boilers. Poland should continue to further strengthen the capacity of its nuclear regulatory authorities and with the establishment of radioactive waste management facilities.

Poland participates in the Community programme for energy efficiency, SAVE II (1).

(1) Decision of the Association Council between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Poland, of the other part, of 3 November 1998 adopting the terms and conditions for the participation of Poland in the Community programme for energy efficiency, SAVE II.

Last updated: 02.03.2004