The European Commission intends to unveil a series of measures intended to reinforce security of EU energy provision, particularly in the gas sphere. It has a burning desire, henceforth, to have its say in the signature of contracts.
Slightly less than a year ago, Brussels was preparing the ground for a community energy policy, a strategic sector that was once the exclusive domain of member states.
Still marked by the crises between Russia and Ukraine which illustrated the flaws in the delivery of European gas supplies, the EU set itself the following targets: diversifying both suppliers and its transit routes. Brussels now wishes to further load its legal arsenal.
One of the key measures involves contracts signed by member states with countries outside of the EU.
Under the current rules, the Commission may only give its opinion after the signature of such contracts. On the contrary, Brussels wishes to give its view upstream in the process as to the agreement’s conformity with the energy objectives of the Union, the European commissioner responsible for energy, Miguel Arias Canete, said during a presentation before the think-tank Bruegel, based in Brussels.
“Member states are often incapable of undoing inter-governmental agreements once concluded, even if they are contrary to European law, as they make the commitment with third party,” Mr Canete stressed, so a copy of his speech indicates.