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Parliamentary questions
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7 March 2019
E-001248-19
Question for written answer E-001248-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Svetoslav Hristov Malinov (PPE)

 Subject:  Commission fine on the Bulgarian Energy Holding Group
 Answer in writing 

In late 2018, The Commission imposed a fine of EUR 77 million(1) on the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) Group and its daughter companies Bulgargaz and Bulgartransgaz for blocking access to key natural gas infrastructure in Bulgaria.

The Commissioner responsible for competition, Ms Vestager, stated on that occasion that ‘for years, Bulgarian natural gas consumers have been denied a choice of suppliers because the BEH group refused to give access to its gas infrastructure to other wholesale gas suppliers’.

On 28 February 2019, BEH and its daughter companies lodged a complaint against(2) the Commission’s decision and the fine it had imposed.

In the light of the above, can the Commission indicate:

On what grounds the BEH Group’s complaint against the Commission is based?

Whether that appeal will not in practice serve to hamper the more efficient functioning of the Bulgarian wholesale market in gas, depriving it of the possibility of offering a wider range of producers and better prices for Bulgarian consumers?

Whether the European Court of Justice is able, when hearing the appeal, to increase the level of the fine to the maximum 10% (around EUR 300 million) of BEH’s turnover?

(1)http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-6846_en.htm
(2)https://www.bgenh.com/posts/102/Информация-от-Български-Енергиен-Холдинг-ЕАД-относно-Решението-на-Европейската-комисия-по-Дело-АТ-39849-БЕХ--Газ.html.

Original language of question: BG 
Last updated: 2 April 2019Legal notice