The Bulgarian Energy Holding is on its Way to take Commitments in the BEH Gas Case
The Bulgarian Energy Holding is in the final stages of taking commitments regarding the BEH Gas case. To this end, the Parliament will instruct the Energy Minister Temenuja Petkova to take the necessary actions to reach an agreement with the European Commission’s case BEH gas. In order to do so, a project-decision will be introduced in the parliament by the members of the parliament of GERB Delyan Dobrev, Valentin Nikolov and Aleksander Nenkov. The project decision will be discussed in the Energy commission of the Parliament on Thursday. The case BEH Gas was initiated by the EC against BEH, Bulgartranzgas and Bulgargas because of suspicions of dominant position in the gas market in Bulgaria.
In the arguments presented, the members of parliament point out that in the end of May, the EC reached an agreement with Gazprom in the case of abuse of dominant position in Central and Eastern Europe, without financial sanctions. According to the MPs, the development of the case against Gazprom is similar to the BEH Gas case, because of similar legal classifications of the violations and overlapping market participants who are involved in the cases. Therefore, they believe that there are new circumstances that require the amendment of the previous decision of the National Assembly without its repeal.
The previous decision of the Parliament regarding the gas case was taken at the end of November 2017. With it the National Parliament supported the closing of the BEH Gas case without acknowledging any wrongdoing and without assuming responsibility and at the same time committing to uphold any obligations arising from a prohibitive decision, even including commitments regarding any financial sanctions that may arise. This decision was taken after the European Commission rejected on 9 November the commitments made by the Bulgarian side and it became clear that it intends to close the BEH Gas case with a restrictive decision and a financial sanction.
On 8 July and 12 July, the Energy commission heard Minister Petkova and the BEH Group on the development of the gas case and on the existence of newly discovered circumstances that may have exculpatory or at least significantly mitigating character.
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