Ansip Hails Final Court Victory Over European Commission
Estonia has prevailed in its battle with the European Commission over its national emission allowance allocation plan after the European Court of Justice's second chamber denied an appeal from the EC.
"The story started back in 2008," said Prime Minister Andrus Ansip in welcoming the decision. "We protested against the Commission's wish to dictate to Estonia what its energy production portfolio should be like. We won once, and now we won with finality."
Ansip added that the decision would not affect the size of Estonia's allowance, but the Commission will have to abide by the essence of the decision in future.
The Commission opposed increasing Estonia's allowance, saying it should use surplus carbon credits from its Baltic neighbors. But the European Court of first instance ruled in September 2009 the Commission acted in an unfair manner in assigning Estonia its allowance.
In its judgment today, the European Court of Justice said in its decision that the 2003 directive, which established the allowance trading scheme, clearly states that member states must determine the distribution of allowances amongst economic operators on the basis of national energy policy and national climate change program.
It stressed that member states can decide on the methods themselves. "Member States remain free to use the data and methods of assessment of their choice, so long as they do not lead to results which are not in conformity with those criteria," the court said in its findings on March 29.
"The Commission must respect the margin of manoeuvre enjoyed by the Member States. Thus, it may not reject a national allocation plan solely on the ground that the data contained in it are not in conformity with the data favoured by it."