Nord Stream 2 - France and Germany Reach Compromise on Amendments to EU Gas Directive

The European Council was scheduled to vote today in favour of planned amendments to the EU Gas Directive, that would effectively target the Nord Stream 2 project. While countries like Germany, but also the Netherlands and Cyprus pledged to vote against the amendments proposed by the Commission, France, in a surprise last-minute U-turn, pledged to vote in favour of the amendments. Last night, however, France and Germany reached a compromise on the issue. We take a look at the legislative history, as well as providing a legal analysis of events and discuss the legal ramifications of today´s important decision.

Germany`s Coal Phase Out 2038

Last weekend the German government`s commission on `growth, structural transformation and employment`, colloquially referred to as `coal commission`, published its recommendations on Germany`s coal phase out. They recommend to phase out electricity production from coal by 2038 in Germany, a contry that relies for a quarter of its electricity production on coal. The compromise is not legally binding, but the German government pledged to `constructively assess` the findings of the commission and to act accordingly. Questions about the compatibility of this new plan with German climate goals raised.

30th European Energy Law Seminar

The 30th European Energy Law Seminar will take place on 21 and 22 January 2019 in Hampshire Hotel Babylon in The Hague (Netherlands). The programme and all further details are available here. Registration is possible via the website of the Dutch Energy Law Association

New Publication: European Energy Law Report XII

This book reviews central energy law issues from a national, EU and international perspective.  It has been an honour for me to contribute a chapter on ´Security of Gas Supply´ (chapter XIII). The book is available from Intersentia here. The Table of Contents can be found here.

The Modernization of the Energy Charter Treaty

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the entrance into force of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), a multilateral treaty that regulates international trade, transit, and investment in the energy sector throughout Europe and Asia. In addition, the Energy Charter Conference has recently initiated a modernization process which aims at bringing the treaty in line with contemporary policy tendencies.

UNFCCC COP24 in Katowice: Side-Event 'The Right to Health and Climate Change'

Since monday representatives of 184 countries are gathering in Katowice, Poland to discuss the future developments of the Paris Agreement of 2015. The Agreement aims to curb global warming to 2 degrees celsius, maximum, compared to pre-industrial levels. To achieve this all countries have to submit Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). However, only 17 of the 184 countries submitted NDCs that are sufficeint to meet this goal. Major industrial countries are lacking behind. The ambitious aim of the meeting, which lasts until 14 December 2018, is to turn this around. The University of Groningen is co-organizing a side-event on Friday 7 December in Katowice.

New publication: a legal perspective on gas solidarity

A new article has been published in the journal Energy Policy (Ruven Fleming `A legal perspective on gas solidarity` (January 2019) Volume 124 Energy Policy 102-110.

The abstract can be found below and the article is available here.

The EU introduced a new security of gas supply regulation in November 2017, which now replaced the security of gas supply regulation of 2010. This article is providing a critical assessment of the new Regulation (EU) 2017/1938. Many instruments of the predecessor Regulation (EU) 994/2010 will stay in place unchanged and those have been discussed elsewhere. This contribution will, hence, focus on the novelties and changes that Regulation (EU) 2017/1938 is bringing about.

After some introductory remarks on the structure and the aims of Regulation (EU) 2017/1938, the current article will proceed by discussing the two main novelties of Regulation (EU) 2017/1938, which shall implement the main thrust of the new regulation: imposing obligatory solidarity betwe…