The European Parliament approves MEP Krasnodębski’s report on energy deals with third countries
The European Parliament has today approved a report by European Conservatives and Reformists MEP Zdzislaw Krasnodębski setting out new rules when EU states negotiate energy supply deals with non-EU countries.
According to the new rules Member States will be obliged to inform the European Commission about their plans to negotiate energy supply deals as well as construction and exploitation of necessary infrastructure with third countries before opening negotiations. The content of the contracts will be subject to the Commission’s opinion in terms of their accordance with the EU law and energy security. “This report is a very important step towards implementation of the energy union”, Mr Krasnodebski said.
At present, Member States are required to inform the Commission about such agreements after signature (ex-post). A trilogue agreement (between the EU Parliament, Council and Commission) reached in December 2016 restricts the scope of the ex-ante assessment to gas and oil contracts, while agreements related to electricity would be still subject to an ex-post assessment. If a Member State departs from the opinion in the Commission's assessment, it would have to justify its decision in writing.
“I am convinced that the proposition can provide citizens and EU states with more energy security. Furthermore, it is the first legislative act which implements provisions of the common energy strategy of all 28 Member States”, MEP Krasnodebski underlined.
It is expected that the decision will bring, inter alia, the following benefits: more legal certainty, which encourages investment, especially for infrastructure projects; better functioning and competitiveness of the internal energy market; and, most importantly, greater transparency regarding the security of energy supply, which could help in detecting potential arrangements which could threaten energy security of any Member State.
Prof. Krasnodebski stressed that implementation of the approved regulation is of the utmost importance. “I would like to appeal to the European Commission to be bold and consistent because some decisions which are taken, such as regarding the Opal pipeline or lack of decision concerning Nord Stream 2, result in a situation where growing scepticism of the EU has grown in previously favourable countries. Boldness and consistency is expected”, Mr Krasnodebski said.
The rapporteur referred also to accusations of both left and right wing MEPs regarding violation of Member States’ sovereignty.
“I come from a political grouping and myself believe that Member States’ sovereignty and their rights are of the utmost importance. Member States’ sovereignty within the EU should be built together. Sovereignty of one country should not be at the cost of another’s security. We are part of the same EU and we build our sovereignty together. It is a value which shall be preserved”, Mr Krasnodebski underlined.
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