11:39 Apr. 27, 2016
Controversial Russian-German pipeline project can be closed soon
Nord Stream 2, the controversial Russian-German pipeline project, is generating fierce opposition in Central and Eastern Europe as well as from the European Parliament and the European Commission. But could the opponents of the pipeline, owned 50% by Gazprom and 50% by some of the largest Western European companies, stop the project?
They may be able to follow a complex legal route that could place formidable obstacles in the way of the pipeline. There is also an even more complex political route that could result in a blocking of the project, but this would involve a high-stakes battle at the highest political level. Energy Post editor-in-chief Karel Beckman reports.
At a debate in the European Parliament on 6 April, the mood towards Nord Stream 2 could not have been more hostile. Petras Auštrevičius, MEP from Lithuania and Vice-Chair of the ALDE-faction (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) in the European Parliament, called Nord Stream 2 a "killer project", that "would kill much of what the Energy Union was intended to achieve".
MEP (and former Polish Prime Minister) Jerzy Buzek of the European People's Party (Christian-Democrats), and also Chair of the important ITRE Committee (Industry, Research and Energy) in the Parliament, said that "Nord Stream 2 and Energy Union cannot co-exist".
He also stressed that "the majority of the European Parliament opposes Nord Stream 2." By pitting Nord Stream 2 against "the Energy Union" the opponents have turned their opposition to the pipeline into a high-stakes game. The Energy Union is one of the top priorities of the current European Commission.