Polish Briefing 8 April, 2019 11:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: The entire Nord Stream 2 should be covered by EU law

What goes on in Poland on the 8th of April.

Wiśniewska: The entire Nord Stream 2 should be covered by EU law

– The agreement on the gas market voted in the European Parliament does not bode any good future for European solidarity, which together with Nord Stream 2 was buried on the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Only blown egg remained from the quite a good project of EU gas directive proposed by European Commission. The directive that was to retain NS2 can actually legalize it. Once again, the particular goals of the strongest member states prevailed over the interest of the entire European Union, writes Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Member of the European Parliament.

– The original idea for the amendment of the gas directive was good. The European Commission wanted EU law to cover the entire undersea section of Nord Stream 2. Then it would include obligation to open access to the gas pipeline for third parties, separation the ownership of the gas supplier from the pipeline operator and disclosure of tariffs. Such provisions could have made the construction of NS2 unprofitable. This solution was also supported by the European Parliament. The promising start of work ended up with disappointment. First, the draft amendment was stucked for many months in the EU Council, which released it in early 2019. Afterwards in result of tripartite negotiations between the EP, the Council and the Commission, negotiated compromises were radically altered towards the original proposal of the Parliament – writes the MEP for

– Firstly, the adopted solutions assume, that EU law will apply only to the part of the gas pipeline that run through the territorial waters of the country in which it enters ashore. In case of NS2 this provision refers to Germany. The parts of a pipeline located in territorial waters of  Denmark or Sweden for example, will no longer be covered by EU law. Even worse, the regulations give the possibility to exclude from the coverage of the directive projects completed before its entry into force. As of today: construction of NS2 is continued, 1/3 of the gas pipeline has been completed and there is no certainty that the EU anti-monopoly rules on the gas market will cover this gas pipeline – writes Wiśniewska.

– In addition, the German regulatory authority together with the European Commission will make decision whether and to what extent NS2 will be covered by EU regulations. This is not a good forecaster for the future, especially considering the strength of German lobbying, which was very visible during the work on the draft of the gas directive – concludes the politician.