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EU gears up to sue Germany if it doesn’t change divisive gas tax

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Politico or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The European Union is preparing to take legal action against Germany unless it amends a contentious gas levy imposed in 2022
• This tax has been criticized by Germany's neighbors and the European Commission for potentially breaching EU competition and single market regulations, risking the unity of the EU’s energy market

🔭 The context: Germany introduced the levy to address a nearly €10 billion deficit caused by high gas import costs
• However, this has escalated tensions within the EU, as the levy is seen as driving neighboring countries to continue relying on cheaper Russian gas, contrary to EU efforts to diversify energy sources

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The dispute underscores significant challenges in the EU’s ambition to become independent from Russian fossil fuels and enhance energy security and sustainability within the bloc
• The levy is perceived as a barrier to achieving these environmental and geopolitical goals.

⏭️ What's next: The European Commission could initiate an infringement procedure against Germany in the coming months if no resolution is found
• This legal process aims to ensure compliance with EU laws but can be lengthy and complex

💬 One quote: "Unless Germany takes action to remedy the breach and eliminate the levy or reduce it to the extent that it doesn't create a disturbance to the single market, legal action would be inevitable in the next few months," said a senior European Commission official.

📈 One stat: The levy has so far raised approximately €1 billion for Germany.

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