Polish Briefing 15 October, 2018 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: Nord Stream 2 delayed by one year. It can be submitted to the gas directive

What goes on in Poland on the 15th of October.

According to prof. Jerzy Buzek, the Nord Stream 2 project may be delayed by one year. This means that there is still a chance to submit it to EU law from the revised gas directive proposed by the European Commission.

Nord Stream 2 delay?

During the conference of the 3rd International Conference on Energy, Environment and Agriculture, former Prime Minister and chairman of the Committee on Energy, Industry and Research, prof. Jerzy Buzek revealed that according to his information, the contested Nord Stream 2 project “is delayed by about a year”.

– It seems that the gas pipeline itself is already delayed by a few months. According to the exact analyzes I have recently read, it is delayed by a year – revealed Buzek. – At the end of 2020 it could be put into commercial use.

Nord Stream 2 is a project to build a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Supporters argue that it will provide more cheap Russian gas. Opponents are afraid of negative effects on the market, law and security of the European Union. The European Commission has proposed a revision of the gas directive which will bring the contested investment into line with European law. It contains anti-trust provisions protecting the market against fraud. Such a solution may, however, involve the need to adapt, and thus delay the investment.

– We have a condition in the gas directive. All pipelines that will not be put into commercial use before the entry into force of this directive must strictly be subject to EU law. If someone did not commercially launch the gas pipeline before reviewing the directive, it will have to be subjected to this law – emphasized our interlocutor. – Slightly milder conditions apply to existing gas pipelines, because their contracts were concluded several years ago. This also applies to investments launched a year ago. In such cases it is much harder to apply European law. Therefore, derogations, the entry of the European Commission and renegotiation of contracts are possible. In the case of gas pipelines starting to operate after the entry of the directive, it is absolutely necessary to apply the law – explained prof. Buzek.

Delay of the directive?

Meanwhile, work on the revision of the directive slowed down under the Austrian Presidency. OMV from Austria is the financial partner of the contested investment Nord Stream 2. – It is horrible that the workes are stuck in the Council of the European Union, that is, at the governmental level in the European Union. The point is for the governments of the member states to decide to start negotiations with the European Parliament as soon as possible. It is a big challenge for the Polish government. Parliament is fully ready from March this year – he reminded.

– The report on this matter has passed a huge majority of votes. We believe that the entire territory of the European Union should be covered by EU law. It is so obvious that it is difficult to explain it yet. There is no doubt that Nord Stream 2 is subject to EU law throughout the entire length of the Baltic seabed. The point is that we can review the directive as soon as possible and have an orderly legal situation when it comes to pipelines supplying raw materials from outside the European Union – added Jerzy Buzek. – The Romanian Presidency can start negotiations only in January. In March, we are closing our activities in the European Parliament. I’m afraid we might not be able to accept it. has already informed about the growing risk of delay in the Nord Stream 2 project. Due to Denmark’s refusal to route the gas pipeline through its exclusive economic zone, Nord Stream 2 AG analyzes an alternative route. It may take up to twelve months to examine the application in her case.