Our association has been legaly established in November 2016 with the name ‘Asociatia European Energy Union‘ received from the Romanian Ministry of Justice.
We choose this name with the purpose only to bring our contribution and our support to the European Commission in his mission to have an Energy Union with citizens at its core, where citizens take ownership of the energy transition, benefit from new technologies to reduce their bills, participate actively in the market, and where vulnerable consumers are protected (this is the European Commission declaration) and to involve more the European citizens in the European energy market.
According to the European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, the term “Energy Union” has been intensively used by the European Commission to promote its energy policy since 2015 (see https://ec.europa.eu/commission/energy-union-and-climate/state-energy-union_en; https://ec.europa.eu/commission/energy-union-and-climate/state-energy-union_en), thereby the European Commission cannot authorise our association for the external use of the European Emblem and the name “European Energy Union”.
We truly believe that your association is responsible and has no intention of creating confusion among European citizens. However, we cannot authorise the use of the European Emblem and the name “European Energy Union” by your association.
Firstly, the term “Energy Union” has been intensively used by the European Commission to promote its energy policy since 2015 (see https://ec.europa.eu/commission/energy-union-and-climate/state-energy-union_en ; https://ec.europa.eu/commission/energy-union-and-climate/state-energy-union_en ).
Secondly, the European Emblem is protected under Article 6ter of the Paris Convention. The purpose of Article 6ter is to protect armorial bearings, flags and other State emblems of the States party to the Paris Convention as well as armorial bearings, flags, emblems, abbreviations and names of international intergovernmental organisations. Therefore, any unauthorised use as trademark of the European Emblem is prohibited.
The rules on the use of the European Emblem by third parties were adopted by the Council of Europe and the European Commission in the Administrative Agreement dated 8 September 2012. According to the Agreement any natural or legal person (“third party user”) may use the European emblem or its elements, irrespective of whether the use is of a non-profit or commercial nature, as long as this use:
(a) does not create the impression or assumption that there is a connection between the third party user and any of the institutions, bodies, offices, agencies and organs of the European Union or the Council of Europe where this connection does not exist;
(b) does not lead the public to believe that the user benefits from the support, sponsorship, approval or consent of any of the institutions, bodies, offices, agencies and organs of the European Union or the Council of Europe where this is not the case;
(c) is not made in connection with any objective or activity which is incompatible with the aims and principles of the European Union or the Council of Europe, or is otherwise unlawful.
We consider that the use of the European Emblem in the logo of your association may lead the public to confusion (Points 2(a) and (b) of the Agreement described above).
Indeed, the use of the European Emblem by your association, together with the words “European Energy Union” and “europa.eu'”, creates the impression that:
– the services furnished by your association are endorsed by the European Union Institutions which in reality have no control over such services and activities of your association;
– your association benefits from the support, approval or consent of the European Union Institutions.
Finally, please note that the Cabinet of Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič responsible for the Energy Union policy of the European Commission has already received from commercial companies interrogations about your association (with fraud allegations).
Therefore, we kindly request that you cease, within a reasonable period of time, the use of the European Emblem and the name “European Energy Union” linked to your association activities, and that you remove them from your association websites or any other websites related to your activities, including social media pages, and from any business materials or media (such as business cards, leaflets, presentations, audio-visual materials, etc.).
Your agreement to provide the above undertakings may be given by replying to this email.
We would be grateful if you could provide us with a time estimate for how long it will take to your association to change its name and to cease the use of the European emblem.
Email received from the European Commission: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 12:29 PM
Subject: Ares(2017)2705299 – RE: European Energy Union name and Logo
We assure you and the European Commission that we do not have any intention to fraud anyone or to create confusion.
Our intention is only to provide our support to the European Commission which has the vision as us of an Energy Union with citizens at its core, where citizens take ownership of the energy transition, benefit from new technologies to reduce their bills, participate actively in the market, and where vulnerable consumers are protected.
Please be informed that so far we have sent multiple letters to the European Commission, even to Mr. Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and other Commissioners presenting our association. At any time we are at your disposal for further details and you may count on our support in reaching a stronger and united Europe.
Please be informed that we have already start the modification on our website and other materials. At the end of this day, the latest tomorrow you may find all the modification accordingly. In the same time, we’re very sorry for the misunderstanding and any inconvenience.
In order to assure you and EC about our transparency, the next week you may find on our website eeueuropa.eu even your answer and any others complains which we will receive from any authority.
Email Sent to the European Commission: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 1:30 PM
Subject: Ares(2017)2705299 – RE: European Energy Union name and Logo
Ref. DPR/594 – 29.05.2017
Let us first of all extend our cordial greetings to you and present you our question related to our logo and the name of our association European Energy Union that has been legally established in Romania in November 2016, were the Romanian Ministry of Justice has granted us the name European Energy Union for our non-profit association.
Our intention is not to create confusion among European institutions and our main purpose is to present us as European association formed by European citizens and companies with experience in the energy sector, that follows the principles of the European Union.
In this case please advise us if we can keep the present logo and the name of our association which was legally constituted.
We look forward to your response and if we receive a negative answer from you, please be informed that we will comply with and we will act accordingly.
We take this opportunity to assure you of our commitment to support you and the European Commission’s.
Please be informed that before receiving the official response from the European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, we have sent in 21 April 2017 to the European Commission, Mr. Vice-president Maroš Šefčovič and Mr. Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, a presentantion of our association with the name European Energy Union and our logo, and none of them complained, until we had some exchange of emails with ACER and only at the end of May ACER caught our attention that we should not use the name “European Energy Union” and our logo.
Our interest and the interest of European Union is to have a fair competition in wholesale energy markets.