Published 14 April 2021
The ongoing energy transition within the EU creates tension between the energy industry and the new and amended rules of EU energy law. This tension is likely to continue with the EU 2050 decarbonization target driving the legislative activity in the EU energy markets as well as in other areas of EU activity. Reaching this target will require new rules, amendments to existing regulatory frameworks and the abolition of outdated laws and regulations. While the need for this transition is clear, energy companies must have the right to challenge new and amended rules when their rights under the EU law have been violated. This raises the question of effective judicial protection of energy companies and leads into an EU law area of a general nature, i.e. the standing requirements for private persons directly challenging EU acts before the EU courts.
This case note will focus on the order made by the EU General Court in Nord Stream 2 v Parliament and Council, in which the Court ruled the application inadmissible. This case in the energy sector, whilst the legislative act in question does not form part of the ongoing energy transition, raises the above mentioned important question as to the requirements to standing that must be satisfied for private persons to challenge an EU directive directly before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
Footnotes omitted from this introduction.