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C-379/98 Preussen Elektra

[2001] ECR I-2099

Case summary last updated at 12/02/2020 17:50 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case C-379/98 Preussen Elektra

Energy suppliers were forced, by German law, to buy energy from renewable energy producers in Germany at a minimum price that was considerably higher than the cost of buying from non-renewable energy producers. It was acknowledged by ECJ and AG that this was contrary to article 28 (as stating that a certain proportion of energy must be bought from national producers reduces the scope for imports), and the real question was whether a defence under article 30 could be made out. ECJ held that the desire to promote renewable energy was was a defence under article 30. This is because article 6 EC says that environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of EU policies, and makes environmental protection a general principle of EU law. 
 
AG Jacobs (more radical line than the court): There is an unwritten exception to article 28 (de facto extending art 30) that discriminatory measures may be used for environmental protection

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