EU Commission “Crazy” and “Reckless”

According to various press articles, tomorrow the EU Commission will decide on opening a formal procedure against Germany under EU subsidy rules, concerning the Law on Priority for Renewable Energy.

I don’t think the Commission has much of a case, though it will be interesting to see what exactly their reasoning is once it is published later this week.

Now I hear from this article in the Welt bei Florian Eder (in German) that several leading Members of the European Parliament in the conservative faction have strongly criticized this move as crazy (wahnwitzig) and reckless (verantwortungslos). They have asked the Commission to further postpone the decision on formally opening a procedure. Thanks to this tweet bei Heiko Stubner for the link.

That would make sense since the new coalition in Germany is going to reform the Law on Priority for Renewable Energy anyway, with a time frame until next spring.

Again, it is none of the Commission’s business how Germany decides on these matte rs. But even if they disagree, starting this procedure right when there is a substantial reform of these questions scheduled is rather doubtful timing.

As the politicians opposing this move correctly point out, this will not help promote the goals of the EU on climate and energy in Germany.

Update: Arne Jungjohann kindly replies over Twitter:

 apart from content: because of EEG reform by April 2014, it’s the right time for the Commission to engage now

I agree only in part. There is nothing wrong with the Commission “engaging” and stating their own point of view on these questions. As far as they are only offering advice, this is exactly the right timing.

However, they are not only offering advice. They are offering orders. In their (wrong) view, the Commission gets to decide about what Germany has to do in that reform, and German politicians only get to enact whatever the Commission wants to get done.

In that case, it doesn’t make much sense to accuse Germany of illegal behavior right now, since the basis for that assessment will be gone by next March.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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