The European Commission aims to enforce its role over the bilateral energy agreements between the EU states and no Member States, according to EU Energy Commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete.
The Energy Commissioner gave a speech at the Bruegel event “How will the Paris agreement impact EU climate and energy policies?” saying that the Commission will soon unveil a new Security of Supply Regulation which would aim “to prevent and mitigate possible security of gas supply crises,” and new law on the intergovernmental agreements in energy, to enforce transparency.
AFP news agency, reported that the new energy package will be announced tomorrow and aims at reducing EU’s energy dependence from Russia.
Regarding the gas crises laws, the European Commission will oblige Member States to deepen their energy co-operation to minimize the need of non-EU energy assistance. With the new regulations the “Member States will be obliged to help each other in ensuring the supply of households and essential social services, such as healthcare and security services, in the case of a severe crisis,” the Commissioner said.
Moreover, the new rules will be stricter in regard with transparency. Canete said that the European Commission and national authorities “will get direct access to specific commercial contracts with a duration of more than 1 year.”
The Commissioner added that the European Commission will be allowed to be more involved in the intergovernmental agreements in energy.
With the new rules regarding the intergovernmental agreements (IGA) in energy, Canete said that the Commission wants “to make energy agreements more transparent and fully compatible with EU law.”
According to the Commissioner, “the main change, compared to the current IGA Decision, is the introduction of a mandatory ex-ante compatibility check by the Commission….The Commission will allowed to express its opinion on IGAs before they are concluded and Member States must be prevented from signing IGAs before this analysis has been concluded…When concluding the proposed intergovernmental agreement or amendment, Member States will have to take full account of the Commission’s opinion.”
AFP reported that under the current laws, the EU’s executive body can only examine contracts after they have been signed. But with the new rules, the Commission will examine all IGA agreements “covering all agreements between one or more Member States and one or more non-EU countries which have an impact on the security of the EU’s energy supply and the functioning of the EU internal energy market.”