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Polish Briefing 16 October, 2018 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: A majority for revision of the gas directive that can ensnare Nord Stream 2

What goes on in Poland on the 16th of October.

The trialogue process continues

According to the representative of the European Commission, there is a majority necessary to revise the gas directive, which may subordinate the law of dispute to Nord Stream 2, but the continuation of the work depends on the Austrian presidency.

Sefcovic performed at the Tatra Summit 2018 conference in Slovakia and gave an exclusive interview to the New Europe portal. He informed that the Commission is collecting information from gas companies in Europe about their gas demand to better estimate the demand for Ukrainian gas pipelines after 2019, when the Ukraine-Russia transport agreement ends and the Ukrainian route may be replaced by supplies using the Nord Stream gas pipeline 2, which, according to the original plan, should be ready by the end of next year.

– We need another impulse at the political level – said Sefcovic. He revealed that the Commission sent invitations to the next meeting of the trialogue process in the KE-Ukraine-Russia format, which could take place at the turn of October and November with the participation of the energy ministers of both countries.

In the meantime, the Commission will press on the Ukrainian Naftogaz to carry out ownership unbundling, ie a flagship reform in the context of harmonization of Ukrainian law with the EU as part of the integration through the Energy Community, to which Ukraine belongs.

The gas directive may cover Nord Stream 2

Sefcovic also announced that there is a qualified majority in the Council of the European Union that could vote on the revision of the gas directive proposed by the Commission. It assumes that all gas pipeline projects to the Union that have started commercial work before the adoption of the new law should be fully subject to EU law. If the revision takes place before the delivery of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline begins, it will be subject to EU law, as mentioned by prof. Jerzy Buzek at BiznesAlert.pl.

The Commissioner admits that the pace of work on the directive depends, however, on the Austrian Presidency, which may put the subject on the Council’s agenda, but has not done so. This has aroused criticism of the opponents of Nord Stream 2, who indicate that the Austrian OMV is the financial partner of the investment.