Common rules for gas pipelines entering the EU internal market [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Alex Benjamin Wilson (1st edition),

Icicles on a pipe pipeline

© Leonid Ikan / Fotolia

In November 2017, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to apply key provisions of the 2009 Gas Directive to gas pipelines between the European Union (EU) and third countries. The proposal would apply EU internal gas market rules up to the border of Union jurisdiction, and Member States would need to cooperate with third countries to ensure full compliance with EU rules.

This legislative proposal may be seen as part of a broader response by the EU to the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 project, which would greatly expand the volume of natural gas transported from Russia to Germany via underwater pipelines. The Commission has expressed its opposition to the project and has asked the Council for a mandate to negotiate an agreement with Russia. This legislative proposal makes it more difficult for Russia to avoid an agreement if it wants to proceed with the project. A 2016 Parliament resolution on natural gas expressed criticism of Nord Stream 2. The Council has not yet reached a position on the subject.

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