OREANDA-NEWS. The operator of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline has achieved intermediate success in the conflict with the EU. On Wednesday, October 6, the Advocate General of the highest judicial instance of the European Union — the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg sided with Nord Stream 2 AG, questioning the decision of the lower instance.

The ruling of the EU Court of Justice, which was adopted in May 2020, was erroneous and should be reviewed, according to the opinion of the general counsel Michal Bobek. Thus, he recommended that the court return the case to a lower instance for a new review.

The opinions of the Advocate General are not binding on the judges of the European Court, but they often follow its recommendations. The decision of the European Court will be made later.

In July 2020, Nord Stream 2 AG filed an appeal against the decision of the EU Court rejecting it's claim against the operation of the EU Gas Directive norms in relation to the pipeline. The operator of the gas pipeline considers this norm a violation of the EU legal principles on equal treatment and proportionality and demands to cancel its effect in relation to the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.

The EU Gas Directive, which is part of the Third Energy Package, provides for the exemption from it's rules of gas pipelines from third countries, the construction of which was fully completed by May 23, 2019, when it entered into force. The Directive extends the EU market rules to gas pipelines from third countries and obliges pipeline operators to allocate transport operations at the ownership level and introduce a non-discriminatory system of third-party access to transmission and distribution systems based on publicly published tariffs.

For the Nord Stream-2 project, this means specifically that the pipeline operator should be a company independent of Gazprom, and 50% of the pipe capacity should be reserved for pumping gas from other suppliers.