Today the Commission has formally requested Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Romania to take action to ensure full compliance with their obligations under EU legislation on oil stocks. The directive (2009/119/EC) requires that Member States maintain minimum stocks of crude oil and/or petroleum products to ensure security of oil supply in case of possible disruptions. Given the importance of oil in the EU's energy mix, the EU's strong external dependence for supply of crude oil and petroleum products and the geopolitical uncertainty in many producer regions, it is vital to guarantee consumers' access to petroleum products at all times. The European Commission sent today a reasoned opinion to Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Romania which have not yet informed the Commission of any measures for transposing the Directive into their national legislation. If the Member States do not comply with their legal obligation within two months, the Commission may decide to refer them to the Court of Justice.
The directive had to be transposed by the Member States by 31 December 2012. Infringement procedures were opened in January 2013 against 17 Member States that had failed to comply with their transposition obligations. A letter of formal notice was sent to Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. The Commission examines the situation in the other Member States against which infringement procedures were opened and the present action could be complemented with further reasoned opinions in the forthcoming infringement cycles.