Europe is facing an unprecedented energy crisis, the main challenge being to identify those balanced measures and tools for viable and sustainable solutions that support all actors, reduce cost pressure and protect vulnerable consumers. At the same time, important investments in the energy system are needed in order to ensure energy security and independence in the future.
A vital criterion for large investors remains the stability, predictability, and transparency of the legislative framework, as also highlighted by the latest edition of the Business Sentiment Index (BSI) published by the Foreign Investors Council. This criterion was not met for the measures taken by Romania in the energy domain, most of them being adopted in 2022 through emergency ordinances without the necessary time to consult with the parties involved. Although important market players are making major efforts to adapt to new regulations, compliance and implementation are becoming increasingly burdensome given the tight deadlines, multiple changes over the past year and imperfections in the legislation, and thus the functioning of the market is affected.
Taking into consideration the complexity of the crisis and the specificities of each country (resources, national fiscal framework, legislative measures in force), the EU Regulation 2022/1854 allows wide flexibility by setting only a minimum rate of 33% for contribution tax that can be achieved also through measures already existing at the level of each state. The adoption of GEO 186/2022 did not take into account the existing legislative framework that already implied a series of solidarity measures for vulnerable consumers, taxes on additional revenues, contributions for the fund dedicated to the energy transition, but also energy prices capping. By adopting GEO 186/2022, Romania become the only country with a significant existing taxation that has introduced also in parallel the solidarity contribution. Two-thirds of the EU countries that chose to introduce the solidarity contribution applied the minimum rate of 33%, and more than half of the countries chose to apply only for one year (not for two, as is the case for Romania).
FIC reiterates the need for a predictable legislative framework and consultation with the business environment to reach the best solutions to ensure energy security, protecting vulnerable consumers and the viability of all actors involved in the energy sector, and at the same time, member companies’ openness for dialog with state authorities to provide analyses and the expertise of professionals from private sector. We continue to be the partners of the Government in identifying sustainable measures to overcome the energy crisis, but also to ensure Romania’s economic development.