Polish Briefing 14 February, 2019 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: The gas directive strengthened the EC and weakened Germany about Nord Stream 2

What goes on in Poland on the 14th of February.

Ministry of Energy: The gas directive strengthened the EC and weakened Germany about Nord Stream 2

From the position of the Ministry of Energy which we reached, it appears that Poland assesses the outcome of negotiations on the revision of the gas directive well by strengthening the role of the Commission. If, however, Nord Stream 2 is excluded, the case may end in court.

– During the trilouge, the supervision of the European Commission over Nord Stream 2 and the process of implementing EU law with regard to submarine pipelines has been strengthened. Thanks to this, in practice, despite the German-French attempt to narrow the application of EU law to the territory of a Member State and its territorial waters through which offshore gas pipelines run, EU law will be applied throughout the entire length of this gas pipeline – reads the document of the Ministry of Energy.

– The agreement of the Council, Parliament and the Commission, the allows for applying to the pipelines from third countries the most important pillars of EU law, i.e. appointing an independent operator that will supervise the tariffs, transparency of gas pipeline construction costs and gas prices – summarizes the ministry.

– The obligation arising from the new regulations is to conclude an intergovernmental agreement that will guarantee full application of EU law on the entire length of the gas pipeline and will be concluded with the consent of the EC. Until such an agreement comes into force, the project can not be admitted to commercial exploitation – explains the ministry. – It should be emphasized that disagreement over the directive would mean a legal vacuum, which would mean further privileging new gas pipelines from Russia. In practice, the lack of a directive would mean tacit consent/silent consent for the implementation of NS2 without EC supervision.

– The project developed in the Council has been supplemented in with the mechanisms guaranteeing the strengthening of supervision over the implementation of EU law on Nord Stream 2 and preventing freedom in shaping the regulatory environment for the gas pipeline through Germany – assesses the Ministry of Energy.

– EU law must be respected by the Member States. The regulations provide for the fundamental role of the EC in enforcing compliance with the law, granting it strong tools to supervise and influence the compliance of gas pipelines with the EU acquis – reads the interpretation of the Ministry of Energy. – The Commission will have to negotiate an agreement with Russia on Nord Stream 2. It is only possible to assign this competence to Germany if it considers that it will not jeopardize the energy security and the EU internal market. Parliament has made sure to further strengthen the role of the Commission in the negotiation and conclusion of intergovernmental agreements.

– We can not imagine a situation in which the EU institutions would agree to concessions and privileged Nord Stream 2. We will control it on an ongoing basis – concludes the ministry. All decisions of the European Commission can be appealed to the Court of Justice of the European Union, as wrote.

It should be emphasized that the above document is an interpretation of the Ministry of Energy, while the official text of the revision of the trialogue, which is still being written, is still not published.