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Commenting article: EC Explains South Stream Procedures Against Bulgaria

The EU Commission has explained why an infringement procedure is under way only against Bulgaria when other EU states are also involved in the South Stream project.

"We started [this infringement procedure against Bulgaria] because the execution of [construction] activities is currently being assigned there, work is just about to begin and it was urgent that we react," EU Commission Spokesman Antoine Colombani was quoted by public broadcaster BNR as saying.

Colombani added that the Commission also found out issues in other countries which take part in the South Stream project and have carried out activities that do not comply with European legislation.

"We are expecting of [other countries involved] to conform their public procurement with European norms and if necessary, we will take action against other states as well."

Starting from Russia, the South Stream enters the EU via Bulgarian soil and continues to Austria through Serbia, Slovenia and Hungary. It is also to have a "Greek" ramification which could make its way into Italy through the bottom of the Adriatic sea.

Over the past days Bulgaria is being put under pressure by the EU Commission to freeze activities around the South Stream gas pipeline project until it meets EU requirements.

An infringement procedure against Sofia was announced on Monday evening on the grounds of non-compliance with the European legal framework and also with public procurement and competition norms.

Earlier this spring, the Commission also criticized Bulgaria for putting through in Parliament amendments allowing for the offshore section of South Stream to be perceived as part of the gas interconnection grid. Such changes, if finally approved, would prevent third-party access to the pipeline and would contravene the EU's Third Energy Package aimed at liberalization.

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#1
european citizen - 4 Jun 2014 // 01:30:33

I guess the EU leading personnel has not realized the results of the resent EU parliamentary elections. They seem not satisfied with the increase of the far right parties in member-states results, maybe they wish that trend to get on and provide with higher percentages....
I could not find another reason (well i can find more under the curtain) that they keep on increasing tension and "hostility" to our EU's neighbor Russia. We are energy wise dependent and their problem is Russia? or is it US's problem? ... since when have the European people decided, accepted and granted the right to all EU officials to make EU another state of US, or they colony?
Is it better for EU to be dependent on US agency to buy energy? ARE YOU TOTALLY STUPID OVER THERE IN BRUSSELS? i guess the dull environment in that city had made you more stupid that grass.

#2
TinuzH - 4 Jun 2014 // 08:03:30

Last week, the European Commission started an investigation for evident breach of membership duties. The EU does not wish to establish a "South Stream," whereas there is already a North Stream. The EU accepted both Romania and Bulgaria in 2007 not on the grounds that they were able to fulfill the relevant membership criteria, but to be able to secure their hesitant parliamentarian democratic regimes and to support and boost structures that would pave the way to a functioning government.What happened was unfortunately contrary to expectations, especially in the case of Bulgaria. A deeply corrupt system of administration has resisted EU reforms and does not look at all to be stabilized soon. Bulgaria joyously disregards the EU membership requirements. And despite some reprimands, it's consolidating its regime of oligarchs. It is also destroying the few remnant positive effects of the enlargement – definitely a case for better deliberation and analysis in Brussels.

#3
Lana J. - 6 Jun 2014 // 09:23:13

Biden's son got the top job in Ukrainian gas transit. South Stream will bypass Ukraine. Vice President's son will sit on empty pipes. Nice work! Sadly, EU don't see it that way :)

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