Interests shaping EU energy policy at the Court of Justice calndar icon image December 1, 2010 tags icon image

Author: Inese Stepina

Abstract: Has litigation as a strategy of interest representation at the European Union (EU) level promoted policy development in EU energy policy? The objective of the research is to demonstrate what interests have been represented in one of the EU’s institutions – the Court of Justice of the EU – and what the outcome for EU energy policy was. The content analysis of the case-law of the Court over the last twenty years (1989–2009) in the EU energy policy area reveals that the most vulnerable areas or obstacles in the creation of an EU energy market and in efforts to develop a common EU energy policy were the electricity sector and the oil and gas sectors, notably related to the application of common rules for the internal electricity and natural gas market, access to and use of national electricity transmission systems, exclusive rights to import and export gas and electricity, as well as the price of electricity transmission. These were policy domains where opposite interests met and were subjects of litigation at the Court. However, litigation at the Court at the EU level has not had an influence on the development of EU energy policy and has not expanded EU competences in the area.

Keywords: EU energy policy; Court of Justice of the EU; interest groups; pluralism; judicial politics

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