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Document 62011CN0164

Case C-164/11: Action brought on 5 April 2011 — European Commission v French Republic

OJ C 186, 25.6.2011, p. 13–13 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

25.6.2011   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 186/13


Action brought on 5 April 2011 — European Commission v French Republic

(Case C-164/11)

2011/C 186/22

Language of the case: French

Parties

Applicant: European Commission (represented by: W. Mölls, acting as Agent)

Defendant: French Republic

Form of order sought

declare that, by failing to take the necessary measures to adapt its electricity taxation system to the provisions provided for by Directive 2003/96/EC (1), despite the expiry of the transitional period provided for in the second subparagraph of Article 18(10) of that directive, the French Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under that directive;

order the French Republic to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

By its application, the Commission submits that, despite the expiry of the transitional period granted to the defendant, namely on 1 January 2009, it has still not adapted all the elements of its electricity taxation system to the provisions of the directive. According to the French authorities, Law No 2010-1488 of 7 December 2010, which was adopted and entered into force after the expiry of the period laid down in the reasoned opinion, transposes the provisions of that directive into domestic law. According to the Commission, the present action must be upheld by reference to the situation under national law which was applicable at the time when the period laid down in the reasoned opinion expired.

The Commission submits that, in any event, France has still not adapted all the elements of its electricity taxation system to comply with the provisions of the directive. The applicant therefore rejects the argument of the national authorities that the directive does not prohibit adjustments to the increase in excise duties according to the geographical areas concerned. On the contrary, the directive sets out the principle of a single tax for all electricity consumption which takes place in the same Member State and exhaustively lists the derogations to that principle in Articles 5, 14, 15 and 17.

Furthermore, the Commission rejects the argument defended by the French authorities that the ‘differentiation in tariffs applied’ does not lead to any risk of evasion, does not imply any additional burden for operators and does not constitute a barrier to the entry on the market of foreign providers.


(1)  Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity (OJ 2003 L 283, p. 51).


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