Poland files complaint to CJEU over EU deal to curb gas use
The Polish government submitted on Wednesday a complaint to the European Court of Justice (CJEU) against an EU regulation on voluntary reduction of natural gas consumption this winter, a deputy justice minister has announced.
In late July, EU member states formally agreed to reduce their gas consumption by 15 percent compared to their average consumption over the past five years, between August 1, 2022, and March 21, 2023, by applying measures of their own choice.
On August 5, the European Council adopted by qualified majority a regulation foreseeing the possibility for the Council to trigger a 'Union alert' on security of supply, in which case the reductions in consumption would become mandatory.
Poland opposed the regulation.
On Thursday, Sebastian Kaleta, a deputy justice minister, announced on Twitter that the government had filed a complaint against the regulation with the European top court
He wrote that Poland argued in the complaint that the regulation was issued in breach of the EU treaties and was not adopted in unanimity.
"This is of fundamental importance, because for several years, when introducing new measures in the field of energy, the EU has been introducing legal acts often devastating to Poland (such as FitFor55), depriving Poland of the possibility to exercise the right to veto, although this right is clearly laid out in the treaties," the tweet said.
Kaleta wrote that Poland also argued in the complaint that "the EU is trying, by using the energy crisis, to take over the full competences in shaping the energy mix."
"And it is the EU's climate policy based on Russian gas, conducted without the right of veto, which is the cause of today's crisis," he wrote.
After adopting the regulation in August, the European Council said on its website that the purpose of gas consumption reduction is to make savings this winter, in order to prepare for possible disruptions in gas supplies from Russia.
The documents posted on the European Council's website showed that Poland opposed the new regulations "due to serious reservations regarding the content of the draft," described the legal basis for the law as "defective" and said that decisions affecting the energy mix of the member states should be taken with the unanimous approval of all countries.
Hungary has also opposed the regulation but the opposition of the two countries failed to derail the plan, which needed support from a reinforced qualified majority of 15 countries to become law.
Despite Russia having turned off the gas tap on Poland, the country has already secured the bulk of its gas needs through imports to its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal on the Baltic coast and is also expected bring in gas through a new pipeline, the Baltic Pipe, which connects Poland to gas deposits in the Norwegian shelf.