According to the new rules, Member States will have to notify the Commission their Intergovernmental Agreements in the field of gas and oil with non-EU countries before concluding them. 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.
Main agreed achievements:
Introduction of a mandatory ex-ante compatibility check by the Commission of Intergovernmental Agreements related to gas and oil.
Member States will have to notify their draft Intergovernmental Agreements related to gas and oil to the Commission before concluding them. Member States cannot sign these Intergovernmental Agreements until the Commission has issued its opinion. When concluding the proposed Intergovernmental Agreements, Member States will have to take utmost account of the Commission’s opinion.
Intergovernmental Agreements related to electricity will be covered by a mandatory ex-post assessment, but a review clause has been inserted to possibly include electricity-related IGAs in the mandatory ex-assessment in the future.
Following the political agreement (in ‘trilogue’, between negotiators of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission), the text will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Once endorsed by both co-legislators, the revised Intergovernmental Agreement Decision will be published in the Official Journal of the Union.