In order to meet the above challenges, the European Council of 4 February 2011 called on Member States to inform the Commission, from 1 January 2012, of all new and existing bilateral energy agreements with third countries 10. The IGA`s decision of 25 October 2012 transformed the conclusions of the European Council into a detailed mechanism 11 for the exchange of information between Member States and the Commission with regard to the IGA. As stated in the „Definition of Problems” section, infringement procedures against Member States who violate EU law under an IGA have not yet been systematically initiated. Maintaining the current IGA decision and opening infringement proceedings against non-compliant IGAs could send a strong signal for the proposed and future agreements, thereby improving the IGA`s overall compliance with EU legislation and the effectiveness of the decision in the medium and long term. However, pending an infringement procedure that could last up to several years, the associated energy project may have already been cancelled, or even very advanced or completed. Investor safety will not be improved until the final judgment has been rendered. This legal uncertainty would also indirectly affect other Member States and businesses in general, as risk premiums for major cross-border infrastructure projects would increase. Since adopting the IGA decision, 124 IGAs have been notified by Member States to the Commission. To the extent that an assessment is possible, Member States have generally complied with their notification obligations. However, there are agreements that are not „legally binding agreements” under the definition of Article 2 of the IGA decision, nor international law, such. B as declarations of intent, declarations of intent or political statements, which are therefore not subject to a reporting obligation under the current IGA decision. However, these agreements can be detailed on the legal and technical characteristics of energy infrastructure projects.B.
Trade agreements between governments and private companies, or between different private companies, are therefore not covered. However, under the IGA decision, Member States can voluntarily communicate to the Commission trade agreements specifically covered by the IGAs (7th recital of the IGA decision). (2) If, after its first review, the Commission has doubts about the compatibility of the agreements submitted to it under paragraph 1 with EU law, in particular with EU competition law and legislation on the internal energy market, the Commission informs the Member States concerned within nine months of the date of their submission. Member States establish relations with third countries not only through intergovernmental agreements, but also in the form of non-binding instruments, often formally called declarations of intent, joint declarations, joint declarations at ministerial level, common actions, common codes of conduct or similar concepts.