EDF tariffs: socialist senators refer the matter to the Constitutional Council

EDF tariffs: socialist senators refer the matter to the Constitutional Council

What if the order paper of the purchasing power Act was not quite finished? After deputies from the Nupes, more than 60 socialist senators seized the Constitutional Council on Monday, August 8, on articles 39, 40 and 41 of the purchasing power bill, which raise the regulated price of nuclear electricity. They believe in a statement that these articles “jointly infringe European Union law, freedom of enterprise and constitutional requirements in terms of validation law”.

During the examination of the text, the deputies had approved, against the advice of the government, the increase in the regulated price at which EDF is obliged to resell a share of its nuclear electricity to its competitors, from 42 euros currently to “at least 49.5 euros” per megawatt hour (MWh) as of January 1, 2023. This obligation, known as Arenh (Regulated access to historic nuclear electricity), has been imposed on EDF since 2011 as part of the opening up of the electricity market to competition.

The senators point out that “the setting of this new price did not take into account the economic conditions of electricity production in any way”, as required in 2019 by a previous decision of the Constitutional Council. However, the elected officials observe that “the productive capacity is lower today” due to the “shutdown of some reactors”. They also argue that “the European Commission has in no way approved in writing the increase in the ceiling and the tariff, as required by European Union law”. Finally, they point out that “the obligation to sell at a regulated rate”, when “EDF is facing historical economic difficulties”, “disproportionately affects its (EDF’s) freedom to undertake”.

Already two appeals filed by the Nupes

On Friday, deputies from the left-wing alliance Nupes had also filed appeals with the Constitutional Council against the two texts on purchasing power, denouncing measures contrary to “several constitutional principles” and “values”. The first appeal brought by the Nupes intergroup was “the monetization of working time recovery days (RTT)” and the “abolition of the audiovisual royalty”.

The second, on the initiative of the LFI and EELV groups alone, concerns the energy component of the purchasing power bill, considering that it undermines “the objective with constitutional value of protecting the environment, the common heritage of human beings, arising from the 2004 Environmental Charter”, integrated since 2005 in the preamble of the Constitution. The Constitutional Council has one month to rule on these appeals.

(with AFP)

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