Barroso: 'Other States' Might Also Be Sanctioned on South Stream

Energy | June 5, 2014, Thursday // 09:30|  views

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Photo by EPA/BGNES

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has warned that more countries could be targeted by infringement procedures over South Stream if they breach the rules.

His comments made at a G-7 press conference follow the Commission's decision earlier this week to launch a procedure against Bulgaria for non-compliance of the South Stream pipeline section with EU legislation.

Brussels believes that the project has issues of public procurement, competitiveness and incompatibility with Europe's Third Energy Package, as Bulgarian draft bills could prevent third-party access to the pipeline.

In a statement that preceded the beginning of the G-7 summit in Brussels, Barroso reminded that energy security has been the EU's top priority for years and that the bloc is working toward that goal, with an ambitious strategy offered last week which could be adopted this June.

The Commission would make sure that all energy infrastructure projects in the EU fully meet the EU's energy, competition and public procurement legislation, Barroso asserted.

He pointed the procedure against Bulgaria as an example for its determination to act against those failing to remove obstacles posed before observance of EU internal market norms.

Barroso was also firm that Europe should speak with one voice on energy among other fields, including with suppliers.

So far Bulgaria has not agreed to stop preparation activities for the construction of its South Stream section, despite calls from the Commission to do so as long as the infringement procedure is under way and the irregularities have not been corrected.

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Tags: EU Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, South stream, infringement procedure, public procurement, G-7


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