European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Brussels would impose infringements on Bulgaria over the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline which does not comply with EU laws, internet portal EurActiv reported on Wednesday.
Some of the agreements that are being negotiated on South Stream are in conflict with EU rules, EurActiv quoted Barroso as saying after a meeting with Bulgaria’s prime minister Plamen Oresharski.
“In fact today I informed the [Bulgarian] prime minister of the intentions of the European Commission. We have to make sure that the rules of the internal market are respected, not only because it’s our duty, but because the Bulgarian energy security and European energy security would be at risk if these rules are not observed,” Barroso was quoted as saying.
In April, the Bulgarian parliament adopted in principle a bill aiming to exclude the Bulgarian offshore section of the planned South Stream gas pipeline from the scope of the EU's Third Energy Package, which regulates third-party access to gas transport infrastructure in the EU. Under the adopted bill, the 24-kilometre Bulgarian offshore section of the South Stream project would be regarded as a “sea gas pipeline” and would have the legal status of a facility which does not step onto EU territory. This prompted the European Commission (EC) to launch an EU Pilot procedure against Bulgaria over the amendments. The procedure does not involve sanctions, instead its outcome will determine potential future measures on the part of the EC.