Blog: EU shows true grit in energy sector
The eagerness of officials in Brussels to regulate almost anything and everything has been heatedly argued by EU sceptics for a long time.
From incorrectly weighing bananas landing Italy with a €6.74 million bill to a ban on restaurants serving olive oil in jugs and dishes, people have made a mockery of EU rules.
And it’s no different in the energy sector.
The EU recently approved a ban on large vacuum cleaners in an effort to “re-educate” consumers who use too much energy – a move than angered many people including manufacturers.
The EU claims rules and bans are necessary to improve energy efficiency, environmental friendliness and health standards across the different countries.
And it’s fair to say not everyone is a fan of bureaucracy.
But despite the mockery, the European Commission is continuing to take a stand and has recently been kicking the backside of some of the EU nations, including Britain.
It launched a legal action against the UK earlier this week – for failing to tackle air pollution in the country.
And it’s for the better. Because the future for Britain, particularly London, doesn’t look very good.
Air quality improvement plans for London are only expected to be achieved by 2025 – 15 YEARS after the original deadline! And the Supreme Court previously declared air pollution limits have been “regularly exceeded” in 16 zones across the UK.
And Britain isn’t the only one at the wrong end of the stick.
Ireland was referred to the Court of Justice last month for failing to adapt the renewable energy law and earlier this week again for not fully adapting the EU internal energy market rules.
Cyprus is also being taken to court for not being able to maintain minimum stocks of crude oil and petroleum products to ensure security of oil supply, in case there are any disruptions, while Denmark for water management problems.
And the list goes on.
But what this shows, in essence, is that despite people pooh-poohing some of the laws imposed by the European Commission, it has shown it means business in the energy sector and that it won’t be backing down anytime soon.