Gentlemen, let’s count the votes! Germany is missing one country to gather a minority blocking the revision of the gas directive that could entrap Nord Stream 2. They are also working on the Romanian Presidency to steady on – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.
The Vedomosti daily reports that Germany has not agreed to a revision of the European Union’s gas directive as proposed by the European Commission, which could allow the Nord Stream 2 law to be subject to the contested law.
The Member States of the European Union provided written comments on amendments to Directive 2009/73 / EC, which Vedomosti saw. According to the daily, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland had the most reservations. Berlin does not oppose the revision, but does not accept the amendments proposed by the European Commission, who wanted the third country gas pipeline projects to be approved by it.
Germany on the defensive
According to BiznesAlert.pl, German diplomacy is currently in the minority, but needs support from one country to win a blocking minority in the Meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER), where representatives of the Member States in the Council of the European Union regularly meet for the topics discussed.
This would be a contrary with the reports of Vedomosti, which report the opposition of three countries: Germany, the Netherlands and Finland. Meanwhile, a blocking minority in voting requires the participation of at least four states representing over 35 percent of the population in the European Union. These countries are represent 20,5 percent of the population of the European Union. One more country and 14,5 percent of the population would be needed for the blocking minority. Meanwhile, the largest countries in the European Union, which have not yet been mentioned, have a smaller share in the population: France (12,89 percent), Italy (11,97 percent) and the United Kingdom (12,28 percent). For comparison, Poland represents 7,59 percent of the European Union’s population.
If Germany really lacks one country to obtain a blocking minority, it would mean that there were at least two large countries in the group of opponents of the revision of the gas directive, e.g. Germany and France (29,02 percent of the total population) and one smaller, but not mentioned The Netherlands or Finland (3,32 and 1,06 percent). Thus, Germany would have to convince Great Britain or Italy of its vision. The cooperation of smaller countries, including labile Czechs or Hungarians (2,08 and 1,97 percent) may not be enough to gather a blocking minority.
It is worth working with the European Commission
Summing up, the game for the gas directive continues and is not a foregone conclusion. We will find out more after the next COREPER meetings. The Germans are striving for the Romanian Presidency to soften its proposals in case that they fail to obtain a blocking minority. The fact that this is the strongest country in the European Union must seek allies to block the act proposed by the European Commission shows the potential of using this mechanism in the foreign policy of the Republic of Poland. The dispute over the directive adds uncertainty to the Nord Stream 2 project, which has been unequivocally assessed negatively by Poland and the growing number of critics in the European Union.