Polish Briefing 2 August, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: End of Nord Stream 2? France and Germany afraid of US sanctions

What goes on in Poland on the 2nd of August.

End of Nord Stream 2? France and Germany afraid of US sanctions

France’s Engie said its financing of the Nord Stream 2 project would depend on Donald Trump’s decision on sanctions against Russia. If the US president approves the additional restrictions the company may cease to transfer funds for the investment. Similar steps have been made by Germany as well.

According to the Rzeczpospolita daily, the American sanctions will most of all hit Gazprom. The measures adopted by the US Congress will make it impossible for the company to borrow from US and western banks. However, the restrictions will also impact western companies engaged in Russian energy projects.

Donald Trump has already announced he would sign the sanctions bill, which has not been left unnoticed by Gazprom’s key partners in Europe. Rzeczpospolita also reported that Germany’s Bundesegestzagentur took preventative measures and decided to change its plans for the development of gas transmission network by removing five projects related to Nord Stream 2, they were defined as ‘uncertain’.

Brussels wants to integrate toll systems 

The EU wants full cooperation between toll systems. To drive across entire Europe, the travelers will pay the fee to one operator only.

Brussels wants the Member States to ensure the interoperability of their toll systems to make this possible. Poland’s General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA) has opened a tender, which will determine the shape of the new toll system in the country. The Directorate stressed that the choice should be economically viable and respond to national requirements.

Poland is now choosing a new electronic toll operator viaTOLL. Once GDDKiA decides about the tender winner, it will also determine the shape of the toll system.

Government supports new responsibilities for tourist services organizers 

The government proposed that if a tourist office becomes insolvent, it will be obliged to immediately inform the voivodeship’s marshal on the situation and present documentation necessary to organize the return of tourists to the country.

This is one example of the regulations included in the Act on tourism and related tourist services, which the Council of Ministers adopted on Monday.

The bill will be the most important legal act that will regulate the activities of tourism organizers, tourist intermediaries and tourist agents. The project introduces into the Polish legal system the EU’s Directive on package travel and related travel services.

After the government’s meeting the Government Information Center (CIR) stated that “new regulations will increase the safety of travelers who use not only the traditional kinds of travel office, but also those who design their own vacation packages via the internet, which are adapted to their needs.”

“Changes are necessary because in practice (partially or entirely) the tourist services offered via new distribution channels (internet offers) and tailored to a specific client (custom tourist excursions, combining various tourist services) are not regulated,” the Center wrote.

Government’s lex Uber. No more driving without licenses 

Passenger transport agents will be responsible for verifying whether the services they subcontract are provided with cars that have valid insurance and roadworthiness tests and whether the drivers have the required licenses. The agent may lose their license for subcontracting to entities that do not have the required authorizations (or pay a fine of up to PLN 100 000).

This has been proposed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction whose goal is to regularize taxi services because of the emergence of companies like Uber, iTaxi and mytaxi. The draft bill has been recently added to the list of legislative works of the Council of Ministers.