Monday

15th Aug 2022

EU denies energy tax reform will boost diesel prices

  • Many European drivers currently opt for diesel cars due to the lower fuel costs (Photo: EUobserver)

The European Commission has said imminent proposals to overhaul EU energy taxation will not automatically result in higher diesel prices for consumers.

The plans, to be published on Wednesday (13 April), will call for fuels to be taxed on their energy content and CO2 emissions in future, rather than the volume-based system currently used.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"The aim is not to increase rates for diesel,"commission spokesman David Boublil told journalists on Monday.

"The plan is that we should put all fuels on the same footing ... It will mean an adjustment to make sure they are taxed in the same way."

Informal discussions on overhauling the EU's energy taxation directive have been ongoing since the original document was approved in 2003, with diesel users currently enjoying lower taxation rates than petrol.

As a result, much of Europe's commercial transport industry has opted to use the cheaper fuel, including the vast majority of overland haulers.

Experts say the minimum diesel tax will rise under the new proposals however, reaching a similar rate to petrol by 2018. Since diesel contains more energy and carbon than petrol, minimum tax rates per litre for diesel are expected to eventually surpass their petrol equivalents.

Recent statements suggest EU member states are increasingly in favour of greater taxation on heavily polluting fossil fuels as a means of boosting renewable energy use.

The potential for higher diesel prices may prove unpopular with voters however, while questions of European taxation have traditionally raised hackles in Britain and Ireland.

But the commission argues that big prices changes are unlikely as many national governments already set diesel taxes which are above the EU minimum.

Reacting to German news reports that the country's diesel prices would rise, Boublil said: "The current minimum at the EU level for diesel is €330 per 1000 litres ... [whereas] in Germany the current minimum is €470 per 1,000 litres."

"The future minimum [based on Wednesday's proposals] will be closer to the current minimum than to what is applied in Germany now."

Dim prospects for EU energy tax reform

The logic behind a European Commission's proposal on energy taxation is based on the concept of "fuel neutrality" but it could hurt alternative fuels the most.

Sweden to extradite man wanted by Turkey

The Swedish government has agreed to extradite a Turkish citizen with Kurdish roots wanted for credit card fraud to Turkey, amid the backdrop of Turkey's Nato threat.

Opinion

EU must beware Beijing's new charm offensive

The EU needs to be clear eyed about China's new diplomatic charm offensive, as it's more likely driven by short-term necessity than any fundamental policy re-assessment.

Estonia and Latvia sever China club ties

Beijing's club was meant to forge stronger European relations. Lithuania left it last year. Now Estonia and Latvia have also decided to walk over Chinese bullying.

Estonia and Latvia sever China club ties

Beijing's club was meant to forge stronger European relations. Lithuania left it last year. Now Estonia and Latvia have also decided to walk over Chinese bullying.

News in Brief

  1. Germany to help nationals cope with energy price spike
  2. Germany wants pipeline from Portugal
  3. Ukraine urges US to sanction all Russian banks
  4. Spain evacuates 294 Afghans
  5. EU sanctions have 'limited' effect of Russian oil production
  6. Donors pledge €1.5bn to Ukraine's war effort
  7. Sweden overtakes France as EU's top power exporter
  8. Italy's far-right star in European charm offensive

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts 2022 season
  2. Sweden to extradite man wanted by Turkey
  3. EU must beware Beijing's new charm offensive
  4. Forest fire near Bordeaux forces over 10,000 to flee
  5. Estonia and Latvia sever China club ties
  6. Russian coal embargo kicks in, as EU energy bills surge
  7. Only Western unity can stop Iran hostage-diplomacy
  8. Kosovo PM warns of renewed conflict with Serbia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us