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Parliamentary questions
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15 February 2019
Question for written answer E-000870-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Nuno Melo (PPE)

 Subject:  Portugal cut off from exporting gas to Europe
 Answer in writing 

Spanish and French energy regulators have rejected the proposal for the construction of a natural gas interconnector across the Pyrenees. That project was on the European agenda for years and the Commission considered it an absolute political priority.

The development of gas transmission, storage and import infrastructure was one of the commitments made in the declaration signed by Portugal, Spain and France at a tripartite summit held in July 2018.

The construction of that interconnector was a precondition for the building by Redes Energéticas Nacionais (a Portuguese energy company) of a new pipeline to Spain, which would enable Portugal to export natural gas to the rest of Europe.

The interconnector was expected not only to reinvigorate the Sines terminal in Portugal but also to be a means to integrate the Iberian market with that of the rest of Europe, thus increasing competition.

1. Does it make sense that the largest, most modern and most efficient gas network is on the Iberian Peninsula but it is not interconnected with the rest of Europe?2. Given the need to improve the security of energy supplies in the European Union and to diversify supply sources with a view to reducing dependency on Russian gas, what position is the Commission taking with regard to the thwarting by the Spanish and French regulators of the achievement of one of Brussels’ top priorities in recent years?

Original language of question: PT 
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