France and Germany have reached a compromise that will unlock the process of amending the EU Gas Directive, which also concerns the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline built by Russia.
"[The] Council [of the European Union] has agreed on a mandate to start talks with the [European Parliament] EP regarding the changes to the gas directive. [The] French-German proposal unlocked the process," Brussels reporter for Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Rikard Jozwiak wrote on Twitter on February 8.
Earlier, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it was going to support amendments to the EU gas legislation so that it covers Nord Stream 2. The point at issue was the proposal of the European Commission to extend the Gas Directive, part of the EU's Third Energy Package, to gas pipelines that run to the EU from third countries. The European Commission proposed the changes way back in 2017. However, the issue was blocked for a long period of time.
On February 4, Romania, which chairs the EU Council, proposed a new version of the changes as a compromise.
Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands are known as the countries that oppose the extension of the EU rules to Nord Stream 2, while more than 10 EU member states support the amendments. Therefore, the support of France is crucial for the adoption of the changes.