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The Turkey-Bulgaria gas agreement

Question écrite de M. Lars Patrick BERG - Commission européenne

Question de M. Lars Patrick BERG,

Diffusée le 23 janvier 2024

Subject: The Turkey-Bulgaria gas agreement

Nord Stream II, labelled ‘Putin’s pipeline’, was hugely controversial. The Commission questioned its compatibility with EU energy security and regulatory practices, Parliament argued that it would reinforce EU dependency on Russian gas supplies, US senators threatened crushing legal and economic sanctions against the German port of Sassnitz and the Biden administration threatened to block the project.

In stark contrast, another ‘Putin project’ – namely the agreement signed in January 2023 between Turkey’s BOTAS and Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz and Bulgartransgaz, which creates a route for Russian gas to enter the EU – was met with relative silence.

Can the Commission:

1. explain why it has taken so long to act in this case,

2. indicate what specific plans it has formulated to address the issue, and

3. clearly indicate the timeline it has set out for implementing these actions?


Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 13 mars 2024

Answer given by Ms Simson on behalf of the European Commission

(14 March 2024)

The Commission services are closely following the developments on the Bulgarian gas market and the South-eastern region at large, in particular since the start of the war in Ukraine and the cut off of Gazprom supplies to some Member States.

The Commission learned about the agreement soon after its signature, as it has not been notified officially prior the signature by Bulgarian competent authorities. Such notifications are not systematically mandatory, however, ‘in case it has doubts whether a given contract [...] puts the security of gas supply of a Member State or a region at risk, it shall notify the contract to the Commission’ (1).

The Commission has been monitoring the issue and engaging with stakeholders since early 2023.

The Commission has been in touch with the relevant authorities and stakeholders and has been gathering views and data on the agreement, including by sending requests for information. In case of indications of non-compliance, including a breach of EU anti-trust rules, the Commission will not hesitate to take appropriate action.

At this point in time, the Commission cannot give any indication on the possible outcomes of this assessment nor on a final timeline as the analysis is ongoing.

1 ∙ ⸱ Regulation EU 2017/1938, Article 14(6): | | ( | | )

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