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Jos Delbeke, deputy general manager in the European Commission Environment Department:

Romania will not win a lawsuit against the European Commission on pollution emmissions quota

de Anne MArie Blajan
Vineri, 22 februarie 2008, 19:59 English | Top News

The European Commission is certain to win the lawsuit opened by Romania in the European Court of Justice, regarding the polluting emmissions quota. EC is unable to understand the position Romania ssumed, since Romania was the one to provide the data that led to the quota allocation. Jos Delbeke, the man who dealt with the European Emmissions Trading Scheme, declared in an exclusive interview for taht the EC has not made any mistakes in calculating the allocation quota. Romania sued the European Commission, unhappy with the CO2 quota allocated for 2008 - 2012. Romnia was favored by the new calculation methid, as it happened with all countries with a low GNP. What may happen after 2013?

Jos Delbeke: In this allocation process we make an analysis of every member state, which is very standard , very similar for all of them. Of course, all member states are different, because their energy mix is different, their economic developement is different. But we followed the same methodology for Romania as we did for the other member states. That's why we are not looking forward to a court case, because it's going to create a lot of work to all of us. Still, if you have to have this court case, then we have to go through the emotions. Now, the commission has made clear to other member state who are also complaining about the allocation that we cannot have over-allocation on the market because, if we have over-allocation, then we will have a price for allowance going to zero, and that would not be good. Now what we do see is that Romania has not only being treated fairly, but we also think that we incorporated in the assesement the high economic growth that romania's going to have in the coming years. I dont' understand why there is a problem, and the commission is going to argue that everybopdy gets less allowanced than it is needed in order to drive an accelerated development of new investments and new capitals and we are strongly convinced that this also applies for Romania. Romania is a good economic case, not a bad economic case. Romania invokes a different methodology of calculating emissions...
Jos Delbeke: The figures that we have been using and the estimations are those delivered by the Romanian authorities, so it was not invented in Brussels. It is on the basis of the material that was delivered by the Romanian authorities. In that sense, it's a bit strange to see that there is a kind of suspicion building in, as Romania was singled out as a country, which is not the case. We took the high economic growth forecast for Romania, we asked our colleagues from the economics department and the finance department about the high and good economic prospects for the future and we want this prospects to materialise. We don't want to create a problem for Romania, but it's just a part of the new environment policy that we are building up and there are plenty opportunities to reduce carbon emissions, including for Romania. That's the point we want to make. When have the Romanian authorities' data been sent?
Jos Delbeke: I don't have the details now, in front of me, but this is the methodology that we always used in the elaboration and checking the national allocation plan, the model was built up by economic and financial experts from Bucharest together with a team of experts (n.r. from the Commission). If there are factual errors, of course factual errors must be corrected, but when it comes to the assesement, we are on safe grounds. The suit will go on, or are there discussions taking place between the EC and Romania?
Jos Delbeke: We can have continuous discussions and explain where we are, perhaps we've made a mistake, but I think we didnt' make any mistakes... for the rest, the procedure is before the Court and it will go on. I only hope that we will talk outside the court, not in the court. This will be more productive. Has Romania any chance to win this case?
I wouldn't think so. I think it will be very hard for the Romanian authorities to have a winning case out of this. As i was indicating, we are redesigning the allocation process, which is going to be very beneficial for Romania. Then i'd rather say that we've got to turn the page. Let's concentrate on what we are going to do in the future. Has the EC received, when redesigning the new scheme, other complaints of the new member states?
Jos Delbeke: Yes, indeed. What is new in the new system is that we won't have a national allocation plan, so it would be a European-wide allocation plan and the criteria used for allocation will be used exactly the same all over Europe, so we will no longer have this national constraints. We will, of course, have European constraints, and that's it. It will favour all countries who are going to have a very rapid economic growth and, as we've seen and heard in our economic analysis, the growth of Romania and other new member states is going to be at least twice as high as the growth of the old members. So we wish high economic growth to romania and with the new system that will be even more facilitated.

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