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Index – Economy – Brussels can sue Germany because half of Europe was dragged down

The European Commission is likely to sue Germany for violating the rules of the EU single market because it charges neighboring countries a special fee for gas purchases from its storage facilities. THE Reuters according to the breach of obligation procedure, it may even start in the next few days.

The German tariff is still a legacy of the energy crisis, which culminated in 2022 as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Moscow already reduced gas deliveries to Europe before the conflict, and later an explosion – the perpetrators of which are still shrouded in mystery – completely destroyed the Nord Stream gas pipelines from Russia to Germany.

In order to recoup the lost losses, Germany introduced a so-called “neutrality fee” for gas sales to neighboring countries, levied on players using the network for export. The additional payment obligation has more than tripled since its introduction in October 2022. According to member states, this is contrary to the EU’s single market rules, which prohibit the application of customs duties in trade between EU countries.

At the same time, according to the spokesperson of the German Ministry of Economy, the tax is not discriminatory. And according to the ministry, other EU countries also benefited from the fact that Germany quickly filled up its huge gas storages.

This measure contributed decisively to the security of European supply and the stabilization of prices

– reads the announcement of the German Ministry

The European Commission has not yet officially confirmed that proceedings can be initiated, it is currently only investigating the situation. It is important to note – as the Portfolio also did – that several regional countries – Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic – asked Brussels to sort out the situation. According to the Association of European Regulatory Authorities (ACER), these fees have led to higher gas prices in certain states and cannot be applied to cross-border trade.