Could EU Finance LNG Terminal in Croatia?

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Croatian Environmental Protection and Energy Minister Dobrović met in Brussels with European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Canete.

Minister of Environmental Protection and Energy Slaven Dobrović spoke on Friday in Brussels with the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete about the LNG project on the island of Krk, the future of INA, and the ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement, reports on February 3, 2017.

“We have talked about the LNG project on the island of Krk and the reform of the gas market, which are two connected issues. The Commissioner was informed about the steps that Croatia is making in order to ensure that the LNG project is financed from the European Union funds. He said that the project was really important for the future power network in Europe, so we are close in terms of a possible decision to finance this project”, said Dobrović after the meeting.

As for Croatian oil company INA, Dobrović said that he informed the Commissioner about the government’s decision to buy back MOL’s stake in INA, which has been “made for security reasons”. “We have said that there are important security aspects regarding this issue and we have asked for some time in order for that process to proceed, so that we could ultimately meet the conditions which stand before us given the accession commitments. We are trying to align our international contractual obligations with the national security aspects of energy supply”, said Dobrović.

Nearly two months ago, the European Commission sent to Croatia a reasoned opinion, which is the second step in the initiation of proceedings for the infringement of European regulations. It sought changes to the law on privatization of INA. Under the law, the state has been awarded special powers in INA, including the right to veto in case of decisions relating to the sale of shares/assets with a value exceeding a certain threshold, which according to the European Commission represents an infringement of freedom of movement of capital and freedom of establishment.

The reasoned opinion was sent on 8 December last year, and Croatia has two months to prepare a response and explain what it has done regarding the issue. In the meantime, it was announced that Croatia had lost an arbitration dispute with MOL, after which the government announced that it would buy MOL’s share in INA.

Minister Dobrović informed the Commissioner about the fulfillment of Croatia’s obligations regarding the Paris Agreement, including the adoption of strategic documents that will contribute to meeting the objectives set out in the Paris Climate Agreement.


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