Energy: Commission welcomes agreement to ensure compliance of Intergovernmental Agreements with EU law

The European Parliament and the Council found an agreement on having Intergovernmental Agreements in the field of gas and oil assessed by the Commission before they are signed. The proposal for a review of the Intergovernmental Agreement Decision is an important part of the sustainable energy security package proposed by the Commission in February 2016. Its key objective is to increase transparency on the gas market, make sure Intergovernmental Agreements are in line with EU law and strengthen the EU’s resilience to gas supply disruptions. Securing an agreement today, in record time after the proposal was tabled by the Commission, is a major political achievement. Energy security is one of the cornerstones of the Energy Union strategy, a key political priority of this Juncker Commission. Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union, said: “One of the Energy Union’s main objectives is to enhance energy security, solidarity and trust. Practice has shown that renegotiating Intergovernmental Agreements, once they have been concluded, is very difficult – to the detriment of the Member State concerned and the European Union. Today’s Agreement ensures that rather than assessing whether international agreements comply with EU law after they are signed, Member States will now do so in advance. This is a big political and legislative achievement”. Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: “Today’s agreement, only nine months after the Commission adopted this proposal, is a major achievement for the EU’s energy security. This significant first deliverable of the Energy Union Strategy, achieved in record time, shows the Commission’s commitment to ensuring compliance with EU law and transparency on the energy agreements between EU and non-EU countries. The new rules, agreed by the negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council, will allow the Commission to guarantee that no energy deal jeopardises the security of supply in an EU country, or hampers the functioning of the EU’s energy market”.