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The EC proposes to extend EU rules to gas pipelines crossing third countries

The European Commission (EC) today announced its proposal to amend the directive on standards for the internal gas market, so that this regulation can also be applied to all gas pipelines that cross third countries and reach the EU border.

Brussels, Nov 8 (EFE) .- The European Commission (EC) today announced its proposal to amend the directive on standards for the internal gas market, so that this regulation can be applied also to all gas pipelines that cross third countries and reach the EU border.

According to the Commission, this reform will guarantee that all gas pipelines entering into the territory comply with European rules, operate under the same level of transparency and efficiency and are accessible to other operators.

"With this proposal we complete and clarify the directive current, establishing that it applies to all existing and future gas pipelines in European jurisdiction, including third countries, "said the EC vice-president for the Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic, at a press conference after the presentation of the amendment.

The Community Executive ensures that the proposal is not intended to "prevent the construction of new gas pipelines ", although Sefcovic referred to the" controversial "project for a gas transport infrastructure between Russia and Germany, Nord Stream 2.

" A year and a half ago it became clear that we did not want this pipeline to be built in a legal vacuum or according to Russian legislation, "said the EU vice president.

The Commission had requested in the past to the European Council a mandate to deal with negotiations with Moscow on how to apply the existing legislation, since, he notes, in the case of cross-border pipelines "it is not practical have two regulatory regimes at each end of the infrastructure. "

" When two legislative regimes confront each other, it is best to negotiate, "insisted Sefcovic.

The vice president assured that "it is clear" what the Commission intends and expressed its desire that the amendment be processed quickly in the European Parliament and the Council, the next steps in the face of the proposal become law.

On the other hand, the amendment also aims to reduce conflicts of interest between infrastructure operators and gas producers, as well as a guarantee of non discriminatory establishment of tariffs thanks to the fact that the law obliges all gas pipelines that walk on European soil to be operated "efficiently under a regime transparent. "

In practice, changes in the legislation will affect, once approved, existing pipelines entering or leaving the Union to Norway, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Russia.

In the face of future infrastructures of this nature, the amendment could have an impact on the gas pipelines connecting the United Kingdom with the rest of the European Union. once this country has left the community club in March 2019.

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