Our law firm successfully defended the rights of the Port of Burgas EAD in a dispute that lasted over four years. On 24.11.2021, the Supreme Administrative Court fully upheld the previous decision of the Sofia City Administrative Court that consumers connected to the electricity network at medium voltage level can choose whether to be connected to the electricity distribution or transmission system operator, subject to the relevant technical conditions. The decision of the Supreme Administrative Court complies with European Union and national law, as well as with the instructions given by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-31/18 on a reference for a preliminary ruling in a case with similar subject matter.
In its decision, the Court concluded that “the consumer Port of Burgas EAD should be considered a consumer directly to the electricity transmission network (ESO), as it is practically connected to a medium voltage system, which is part of an electrical substation the scope of activity of the transmission network”.
The Supreme Administrative Court considered as unfounded the complaints of “Elektrorazpredelenie Yug EAD” and “EVN Bulgaria Elektrosnabdyavane EAD” for contradiction of the appealed decision of Sofia City Administrative Court with the Decision of the CJEU in case C-31/18, as evident from the latter, “Member States are free to determine whether the points of transformation of electricity belong to the transmission or distribution network. Paragraph 84 of the CJEU decision explicitly emphasizes that Member States have a margin of discretion in directing users to one or another type of network and therefore in determining the type of network. Moreover, the CJEU decision confirms that Directive 2009/72 aims in particular at achieving a fully open market that allows all consumers to freely choose their supplier and all suppliers to freely supply their customers in order to build the internal electricity market.”
The decision on the case is of fundamental importance for the entire energy market in Bulgaria.
The successful representation of Port Burgas EAD in court was by our partners Miglena Peneva and Mariya Derelieva, as well as our senior associate Ivan Tserovski, leading specialists in the field from the team of Georgiev, Todorov and Co. Law Offices.