European Parliament Petitions Committee wants Nord Stream out of the Baltic Sea

Posted: May 27th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: european union, russia | No Comments »

Responding to ca 30 000 petitions, here are some notable quotes from the draft document approved by the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament:

12. Emphasises that alternative gas pipeline routes, which do not disturb the marine environment, should be analysed first, and notes that it is possible to run such routes to the Russian border overland, solely through European Union Member States;

14. Supports the Swedish Government’s Decision of 12 February 2008 refusing to grant Nord Stream AG permission to build the gas pipeline due to significant procedural and substantive shortcomings and in particular the lack of an analysis of an alternative route and of the option of abandoning the construction of the pipeline; 

19. Expresses its belief that routing the North European gas pipeline through EU territory would enable it to meet the strategic and economic objectives set out in Decision 1364/2006/EC whilst avoiding extensive environmental damage; 

20. Calls on the Council and Commission to use every legal means at their disposal to prevent the construction of the North European gas pipeline on the scale proposed by the investor;

The Motion for a Resolution will now be considered by the European Parliament. Nord Stream has responded to the document as well, claiming that the Committee has misunderstood the environmental impact assessment study process:

The Committee has prejudged Nord Stream, without waiting for the information contained in the EIA which will address the concerns raised.

In my opinion, this project will never materialise, as there is simply no objective justification for it in light of where the EU is going. If one looks at the EU as a whole the project makes no sense as Russia could connect to EU directly by land without the need for an expensive and environmentally dangerous underwater pipeline. If the EU wants to diversify it energy supplies, then having another route to the already dominant provider is not going to help anyone.

The Nord Stream project as it is should be scrapped, and its TEN-E status removed due to change in circumstances. I am unsure how this is done procedurally, but surely there must be a way.

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