The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is drafting an Opinion on the rules for the internal market in natural gas
based on a legislative proposal by the European Commission, which can be found here.
To discuss the topic of the opinion t
he Rapporteur Mr Mauro D'Attis (IT/EPP) and his expert would be happy to meet with you on:
Friday, 9 February 2018 between 9:00 – 11:30
in the Committee of the Regions building
(Rue Belliard 101, B-1040 Brussels)
Room JDE 53
The meeting will be held in Italian and English.
Our rapporteur has prepared a Working Document which can be found at this link
. The rapporteur strives for the highest possible quality input and widest range of different views for his opinion and we believe your expertise will greatly contribute to achieving this objective. In case you have a position paper related to the topic, you are invited to send it before the meeting
The key questions discussed during the meeting are:
- In the light of past experience of security of supply, what importance should be attached to the excessive dependence of demand (i.e., local communities) on external suppliers of natural gas, taking into account the increased supply/sources of LNG on international markets and the current considerable under-utilisation of the EU's regasification capacity?
- Can the instrument of a directive replace real solidarity in this area between the different communities within the European Union?
- Is the EU's past practice concerning the applicability of the Directive to international pipelines consistent, and does it ensure a single vision of the structures? Does it distinguish between onshore and offshore pipelines? Should any inconsistency here be addressed in the interests of legal certainty for operators? If so, how?
- Is there a partial renationalisation of EU energy infrastructure policy under way, without proper involvement of local and regional authorities? Or does the proposal constitute excessive harmonisation running counter to competition between Member States, which can be productive and requires flexibility? Are the proportionality and subsidiarity principles safeguarded?
- To what conditions should derogations from the EU system for existing international pipelines be subject? Does the treatment of future pipelines under the proposal respect the principle of non-discrimination?
- Is the negotiation of ad hoc international agreements really the key to reconciling the uniformity of the harmonised EU system with the special conditions granted to projects of common interest (PCIs) under the Connecting Europe programme? What role might local and regional authorities play here?
- Are there constraints under international or EU law that may affect the legitimacy of the proposal?
- Does the proposal entail costs or other difficulties for EU companies involved (for example, as regards accounting unbundling), and would it be realistically applicable in practice?
- Could the proposal have adverse effects on the development of import infrastructure, and therefore on the EU's security of supply in the light of the asset specificity of import pipelines, the current conditions of the EU internal market and its foreseeable development (e.g. spot supplies versus long-term contracts, expiry of historical capacity bookings on import pipelines, etc.), and international market trends?
- What is the global trade-off of the proposal for the EU as a whole? What about the balance for local and regional communities (which constitute the demand, but are also environmental players and taxpayers, all roles that involve costs) and what instruments can ensure that the benefits for those communities are maximised fairly?
The adoption calendar of the opinion is as follows:
- approx. mid-March: deadline for the rapporteur to submit his draft opinion document (with political recommendations) to translation;
- 27 March 2018: deadline for amendments for ENVE members to the text;
- 12 April 2018, CoR ENVE Commission: adoption of CoR draft opinion;
- 16-17 May 2018, Plenary Session: Adoption of final CoR opinion.