EU member states agree on amendments to the Gas Directive

EU member states agree on amendments to the Gas Directive
The way is paved for the completion of the Nord Stream II gas pipeline, as the European Council begins direct negotiations with the European Parliament on the amendment of the Gas Directive.

The proposed amendment seeks to extend the application of EU gas market rules to pipelines to and from third countries.

The overall aim of the proposed amendment to the Gas Directive is to ensure that the rules governing the internal gas market of the EU apply to natural gas transmission lines between a Member State and a third country up to the border of the Member State and its territorial waters.

This will make the EU legal framework more consistent, will enhance transparency and ensure legal certainty for gas infrastructure investors and network users.

The negotiating mandate sets out a process for the negotiation of agreements between EU Member States and third countries, with regard to the operation of a gas pipeline.

According to the proposal, Member States wishing to enter into negotiations with a third country on the conclusion, amendment or extension of such an agreement that would have an impact on common EU rules, should inform the European Commission.

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For the section that could affect EU rules, the European Commission will then authorize the Member State to open formal negotiations.

Romania, which holds the presidency of the EU, for the first half of 2019, announced on Twitter the agreement reached among the member countries.

Its revision was proposed by the European Commission, which was submitted in November 2017, and is seen as reflecting the institution's desire to better frame the Nord Stream II project, which, according to Brussels, casts doubt on the EU's energy independence  and security of gas supply.

"There was indeed an agreement made possible only by the close cooperation between France and Germany, under the Romanian Presidency of the EU. I meet with the French president very often… there is a close cooperation on all European issues", said the German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a press conference in Berlin./IBNA