The interpretation of the principle of energy solidarity – A critical comment on the Opinion of the Advocate General in OPAL

The Opinion of Advocate General Campos Sánchez-Bordona in the OPAL case, which relates to the cancellation of the 2016 OPAL exemption decision, was delivered on 18 March 2021. In his Opinion, the Advocate General largely concurs with the General Court’s judgment and recommends dismissal of the appeal before the Court of Justice. However, in some areas his views also went further than the General Court.

This Insight will focus on the legal and practical aspects of the case. Building on the overwhelmingly critical views expressed in academic writings and energy expert views, the Insight examines the Advocate General’s Opinion and focuses on its problematic areas. These include (i) uncertainty and conflict with the principle of legal certainty, (ii) the proposal as to limited judicial control over the application of the principle of energy solidarity and its conflict with the right to effective judicial protection, (iii) the formalistic approach taken by the Advocate General as well as (iv) the conflict with the WTO Panel Report in EU-Energy Package.

By: Kim Talus