/

EU warns Cyprus on pollutants, renewable energy, digital rights

1050 views
5 mins read

Brussels has warned Cyprus about its lack of legislation to limit air pollution, promote renewable energy and protect digital copyright.

The infringement warning is a step before the case is referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

These reasoned opinions deal with limiting emissions from medium combustion plants and EU rules on promoting the use of energy from renewable sources.

Another two reasoned opinions concern the country’s failure to notify the Commission of measures on copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions and the Digital Single Market.

The May infringement procedure also includes a reference to an infringement case against Cyprus open since February for not correctly transposing to national legislation the EU rules on the fight against fraud.

Emissions

The Commission has asked Nicosia to correctly transpose the directive on limiting emissions of certain pollutants into the air from medium combustion plants into national legislation.

Medium combustion plants include electricity generation, domestic or residential heating and cooling, and heating or steam for industrial processes.

They represent a significant source of sulphur dioxide emissions, nitrogen oxide and dust, thus contributing to air pollution.

With its Zero Pollution ambition, the European Green Deal emphasises cutting air pollution, which is among the key factors negatively affecting human health.

The directive had to be fully transposed into national law by 19 December 2017. In September 2021, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Cyprus on the matter.

Cyprus has two months to respond and take the necessary measures. Otherwise, the Commission may refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

 Renewable sources

Cyprus is one of ten countries the Commission has sent a reasoned opinion for not having fully transposed EU rules on promoting the use of energy from renewable sources.

The Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Cyprus, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Romania.

This directive provides the legal framework for developing renewable energy in electricity, heating and cooling, and transport.

It sets an EU-level binding target for 2030 of at least 32% renewable energy to ensure support for renewable energy is cost-effective and simplify administrative procedures for renewable energy projects.

The directive also facilitates the participation of citizens in the energy transition. It sets specific targets to increase the share of renewables in the heating and cooling and transport sectors by 2030. Furthermore, it strengthens the criteria to ensure the sustainability of bioenergy. The deadline to transpose the directive into national law was 30 June 2021.

Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, and Romania have failed to provide the Commission with clear and precise information.

At the same time, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, and Luxembourg have only partially notified national measures transposing the directive.

Copyright

The Commission has also sent reasoned opinions to multiple member states, including Cyprus, over their failure to notify of transposition measures on copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions and copyright in the Digital Single Market.

Cyprus received two reasoned opinions along with Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.

These two Directives aim to modernise copyright rules for consumers and creators to make the most of the digital world.

They protect rightsholders from different sectors, stimulating the creation and circulation of more high-value content.

They bring a greater choice of content for users by lowering transaction costs and facilitating the distribution of radio and television programmes across the EU.

The Member States must enact these rules without further delays.

EU budget

The May infringement package also contains a reminder that Cyprus is one of several member states that have received a letter of formal notice because they did not correctly transpose the EU rules on the fight against fraud.

Brussels also sent a formal notice to Estonia, Hungary, Malta and the Netherlands.

The decision follows other letters of formal notice sent to Croatia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania and Spain in December 2021; and Belgium, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden in February 2022. The Commission has also decided to close the infringement case opened against Austria in September 2019.

These rules, which are part of the Commission’s broader anti-fraud strategy, protect the EU’s budget by harmonising the definitions, sanctions, jurisdiction rules and limitation periods related to fraud and other offences affecting the EU’s financial interests.