Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Directive 2009/73/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas
1. This proposal amends the definition of “interconnector” and other relevant provisions in Gas Directive 2009/73/EC in order to clarify the regulatory framework applicable to gas pipelines connecting Member States with third countries. The Gas Directive does not expressly regulate the operation of gas pipelines connecting Member States with third countries. This means that in the absence of an EU regulatory framework, the operation of pipelines between Member States and third countries could be regulated at national level. For pipelines from third countries which cross several countries, this could result in different rules applying to the same pipeline within the EU and therefore give rise to regulatory conflicts, legal uncertainty and distortion of competition within the internal gas market. Moreover, as most of the EU’s gas consumption is imported via pipelines with third countries and gas is often transported over several national borders before reaching the place where it is used, the legal framework under which these imports are carried out can therefore significantly affect the functioning of gas markets in the EU and the security of gas supply.
2. The Commission is therefore proposing to amend the definition of “interconnector” in the Gas Directive, which currently means a pipeline which crosses or spans a border between Member States, so that it will mean “a transmission line which crosses or spans a border between Member States or between Member States and third countries up to the border of Union jurisdiction”. The proposed amendment will make it clear that the Gas Directive (as well as the related legal acts such as the Gas Regulation, network codes and guidelines, unless otherwise specified in these acts) will be applicable to existing and future pipelines to and from third countries, up to the border of EU jurisdiction.