Intergovernmental agreements in the field of energy

Briefing 19-05-2017

The Commission has proposed a decision which would require Member States to submit draft intergovernmental agreements with non-EU countries in the field of energy to it before they are signed. The Commission would then check whether they are compliant with EU law, and Member States would have to take full account of the Commission's opinion. At present, Member States are required to submit such agreements to the Commission after signature. The Commission considers the present system as ineffective. A trilogue agreement reached in December 2016 restricts the scope of the ex-ante assessment to gas and oil contracts, while agreements related to electricity would be subject to an ex-post assessment. If a Member State departs from the opinion in the Commission's ex-ante assessment, it would have to justify its decision in writing. The agreed text needs now to be approved by Parliament and Council.