UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – The working group on energy of the EU Council (Working party on energy) will discuss on April 13 issues related to the amendments to the EU Gas Directive proposed by the European Commission, the provisional agenda for the meeting says.
EC in November 2017 proposed to amend the EU Gas Directive. Their goal is to ensure that certain norms of EU energy legislation are applied not to some, but to all gas pipelines on the territory of the European Union, which come from or to third countries.
Such norms include, in particular, non-discriminatory establishment of tariffs for pumping gas, third-party access to the ability to pump “blue fuel”, separation of activities for the sale and transportation of gas. Now these norms do not apply to offshore sections of gas pipelines.
The European Commission proposed that the new rules, in the event of entry into force, not only affect future gas pipelines, but also existing ones. However, for the latter countries, the European Union will be able to make exceptions, the EC proposes.Thus, these amendments could affect the existing Nord Stream gas pipeline and the Nord Stream-2 pipeline.
The EU Council, having started the discussion of the bill, requested the opinion of its legal service regarding the amendments proposed by the EC. Without developing this opinion, discussion on the working group could not have progressed. Now the legal opinion has been prepared.
One of the items on the agenda of the working group on energy is the “gas directive” on Friday, and the “opinion of the Council’s legal service,” including in the agenda, will be discussed.
Without consensus on this document on the working group, its discussion can not move forward in the EU Council and reach the ministerial level. Then the amendments between the EU Council and the European Parliament should be discussed. Only after the development of an agreed unified position of the Council and the EU Parliament on the bill, it can be finally approved and come into force.
The director of the EU internal energy market department of the Directorate General for Energy of the European Commission Klaus-Dieter Borchardt told RIA Novosti earlier that consultations between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament on amendments to the EU Gas Directive may begin at the end of the first and beginning of the second half of this year.