The European Commission said on Thursday it will take Bulgaria and Romania to court over non-compliance with the EU gas market rules.
"The European Commission considers that Bulgaria and Romania are still not fully in line with EU gas market rules and has therefore decided today to take these countries to the EU Court of Justice," it said in a statement.
"In concrete terms, the Commission considers that in Bulgaria and Romania no interruptible reverse flow capacity (also known as 'backhaul') is offered at all interconnection points," it said, adding that the inclusion of reverse flow capacity is essential to use the network to its maximum capacity and that interruptible capacity and short-term services are vital for newcomers to enter the market.
In addition, the Commisison believes that in Romania the transmission system operator does not entirely respect the EU transparency requirements. Without Information on available capacity the gas market cannot become really competitive and new entrants cannot access the markets, it said.
Cross-border trade can only happen if all market participants have equal access to gas transmission networks to supply customers, the Commission said. "To guarantee this equal third party access it is important that maximum network capacity is being offered to the market. It is equally important that reliable and transparent Information on the capacity of the network is provided to all market participants," it added.