OREANDA-NEWS. The Council of Ministers of the Member States of the European Union finally approved the amendments to the gas directive, the press service of the council reports. The changes imply the extension of the rules that apply to EU internal European pipelines, not only to land, but also to offshore gas pipelines running from third countries across the EU.

Voting took place in the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council. According to the EU decision-making procedure, a bill approved by the European Parliament can approve any of the Council of Ministers of the European Union. New standards were developed by opponents of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline to force project participants to bring it in line with the rules of the European domestic market. This means that the gas pipeline should have an operator independent of Gazprom (now it is a 100% monopoly structure of Nord Stream 2 AG), and third parties will have access to the facilities.

"This is the end of the era of monopoly in the European gas market - a monopoly that either threatens with increased prices or simply overlaps the crane," said Jerzy Buzek, Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, introducing the bill.

“Before entering into force, the bill should be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities and implemented into the national law of member countries over the next nine months,” the company said. They added that the implementation of the gas pipeline construction project continues in full compliance with the current legislation and with the full support of financial investors.

Representatives of the EU Council and the European Parliament agreed on amendments to the gas directive on February 13. The European Parliament approved them on April 4.