Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2016-06-06-Speech-1-238-000"

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"Madam President, my question here this evening is: Can Irish politicians use the time—honoured excuse and say ‘Brussels made us do it’ when it comes to the payment of water charges? The Water Framework Directive gives Member States a clear opt—out where they can decide, in accordance with established practice, not to apply water charges. So what are established practices? Well, former Commissioner Potočnik answered that question in 2010 when he clarified ‘established practice’ as being at the time of the adoption of the Directive. That is 2003, not 2010, 2014 or 2016. It is 2003. In 2014, the European Court of Justice found against the European Commission when it took Germany to court for not charging for certain water services, including consumption. The Court was clear in its judgment. The EU legislature intended to allow Member States to determine the measures to be adopted for the recovery of costs, without extending it to all services associated with water use. The Court further states that the directive does not, per se, impose a generalised pricing obligation in respect of all activities of water use. In this case, what is good enough for Germany is good enough for Ireland, and those Irish politicians who are trying to blame Brussels while pursuing their own agendas have no legal basis for their argument."@en1

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