Minister Bóka calls for EU action against Bulgarian energy tax

Hungary's Minister of EU Affairs János Bóka has issued a strong critique against Bulgaria's new energy tax on Russian natural gas, highlighting potential violations of EU law and a threat to regional energy security. In a Facebook video, Bóka announced steps to challenge the measure, including a call for an EU infringement procedure against Bulgaria.

In his Facebook video, János Bóka expressed serious concerns over Bulgaria's newly implemented energy tax on natural gas originating from Russia. According to the minister of EU affairs, the tax, which applies to gas entering or passing through Bulgaria, was adopted without prior consultation with Hungary and poses a significant threat to the energy security of both Hungary and the broader region.

Bóka strongly criticized the Bulgarian measure, stating that it contravenes EU law by effectively acting as a customs duty, thus undermining the principles of the EU's internal market, customs union, and common trade policy. He also highlighted its violation of the Energy Charter Treaty.

In response to this unilateral action by Bulgaria, Minister Bóka revealed that he has officially written to the European Commission, urging it to initiate an infringement procedure against Bulgaria. He has requested that Bulgaria suspend the energy tax until the conclusion of the procedure. In a firm stance, Bóka warned that if the European Commission fails to respond adequately, Hungary is prepared to escalate the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union before the end of the year.

Emphasizing the urgency of the situation with winter approaching, Minister Bóka reaffirmed the Hungarian government's commitment to protecting Hungarian families and securing the country's energy supply.