EU court rejects Poland's charges versus Gazprom, upholds those against EC

The General Court of the EU on Wednesday rejected charges against a 2018 settlement between the European Commission (EC) and Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom brought by PGNiG, Poland’s natural gas company.

In the second ruling, the General Court of the European Union annulled the EC's 2019 decision to reject PGNiG's complaints against Gazprom's monopolistic practices, explaining that the decision had been passed in violation of PGNiG's procedural rights.

"The judgement of the General Court means the European Commission must re-examine PGNiG's complaint," PGNiG's CEO Pawel Majewski said on Twitter.

"We hope that the European Commission will take the opportunity provided by today's judgment to take decisive action against Gazprom’s violations of competition law," he added.

The 2018 Gazprom-EC deal, struck as a result of PGNiG's monopoly charges against the Russian company, allowed Gazprom to evade heavy fines for monopolising the Central and Eastern European gas market.

The Commission, which initially supported PGNiG's monopoly claims, decided on a settlement after Gazprom pledged to change its policy. PGNiG responded by bringing charges against the deal, arguing that the Commission sealed it in violation of procedural regulations, and that the obligations it imposed on Gazprom were inadequate to the damage done by the Russian giant.

In its ruling on Wednesday, the General Court stated the settlement with Gazprom "is not vitiated by any of the procedural or substantive errors raised by the applicant (PGNiG – PAP)" and would remain in force.