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Large scale energy projects and Environment Impact Assessment

Implementation of large-scale energy infrastructure projects with a transboundary environmental impact

10 October 2019, 4-7 PM CET

TUSIAD Avenue des Gaulois, 13, Brussels 1040

When it comes to energy and environmental policy, the importance of EU law continues to grow. This has important implications for how large-scale energy infrastructure projects are planned, designed and implemented. In this BREC meeting on October 10, the Club examined the applicable legal framework for environmental impact assessments in the case of transboundary energy projects and considered the manner with which it is being implemented on the ground by EU member states. In this context, several important energy infrastructure projects are currently being planned, under construction or about to be completed. Three of these are in the Baltic Sea: Nord Stream 2, the Baltic Pipe, and the Balticconnector. Given its magnitude and complexity, Nord Stream 2 lends itself as a relevant case study for discussion. Taking furthermore into account that the existing Nord Stream pipeline has been in operation since 2011, we already have a reference case that provides a practical experience as well as monitoring results concerning the functioning and effectiveness of environmental impact assessments in transboundary cases.

With the EU now commencing its new legislative term, this was a very suitable moment to discuss the current set of rules and regulations for the implementation of transboundary energy projects from a broader, international perspective.

The project developer needs to contribute to this discussion every bit as the lawmakers, given their experience "on the ground". Indeed, project developers need to understand the measures they must take in order to meet the legal requirements set by the UN Convention for the Law of the Seas, the Espoo Convention, and the EU Directive for Environmental Impact Assessment, as well as national legislation, while the implications of these rules are not always well understood by stakeholders.


  • Presentation by Milena Novakova — The EU's Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and its relevance for largescale transboundary energy projects

  • Presentation by Simon Bonnell — Case Study: the social and environmental impact of Nord Stream 2 construction

  • Roundtable discussion with members and guests of the Brussels Energy Club (NB: the Chatham House Rule will apply).


Simon Bonnell Presentation_Brussels Energy Club_10 October
Download PDF • 1.60MB


Legal and Policy Officer, Mainstreaming & Environmental Assessments

DG Environment

Head of Permitting

Nord Stream 2 AG




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