Commission urges Greece to correctly transpose the EU rules

The European Commission decided to send a letter of formal notice to Greece on Thursday formally requesting the adoption and notification of their updated long-term renovation strategy in commercial and residential buildings, as required by the Energy Efficiency Directive (Directive 2012/27/EU).

The deadline set by the Directive for notification of the updated buildings renovation strategy was 30 April 2017. The Energy Efficiency Directive sets out energy savings requirements for EU countries’ buildings.

This includes making central government buildings more energy efficient and requiring national plans to be established for renovating overall building stock. The long-term renovation strategies show how the Member States plan to foster investment in the renovation of residential and commercial buildings.

Greece now has two months to reply to the arguments raised by the Commission; otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.

Also, Commission urged Greece to respect obligations under the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) for the protection of natural habitats and species included in the Natura 2000 network.

Member States have to designate the EU-listed Sites of Community importance (SCIs) as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). They also have to establish conservation priorities and objectives as well as the necessary conservation measures to maintain or restore the species and habitats present to a favourable condition. These steps need to be carried out within six years after the inclusion of these sites in the EU list as SCIs.

While Greece has formally designated all its 239 sites as SACs, it has nether established conservation priorities and objectives nor the necessary conservation measures for these sites. As part of a horizontal enforcement action against several Member States, the Commission is sending an additional reasoned opinion to Greece.

It now has two months to reply. Failing that, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the EU.