Acting on behalf of Hidroelectrica, Filip & Co has successfully persuaded the European Court of Justice to, in the firm's words, "confirm the free market status for all energy transactions by stating that imposing OPCOM as the sole transaction platform for producers is an unjustified restriction on the free movement of goods."
According to Filip & Co., the ECJ’s September 17, 2020 ruling "opens the door for Romanian energy producers to export directly to other markets within the European Union, by acknowledging that producers and traders should benefit from the same regime and by arguing that pricing considerations cannot limit the EU principles."
Ultimately, Filip & Co. explains, the ECJ accepted the firm's argument that the Romanian legislation being challenged "goes beyond what is necessary to attain the [goal] pursued by the Romanian Government." The firm reports that the "ECJ held that the requirement imposed only on producers to offer for sale all the energy available on the single centralized platform available in Romania, managed by the operator designated for national electricity market trading services (OPCOM), cannot be justified on grounds of security of energy supply and the Romanian legislation is not proportionate to, nor coherent with the objective pursued."
"As highlighted by the Court," Filip & Co. reports, "the purely economic and commercial considerations – as the risk of an increase of the national energy price - are not grounds of public security within the meaning of Article 36 TFEU or requirements relating to the public interest which would make it possible to justify quantitative restrictions on exports or measures having equivalent effect. In other words, if such price related considerations were able to justify a prohibition on direct export of electricity, the very principle of the internal market would be undermined."
Filip & Co. Partner Catalin Alexandru and Associate Carmen Calabache represented Hidroelectrica before the ECJ.