As a project in a transboundary context, the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline is subject to international conventions and national legislation in each of the countries through whose waters it passes. Running through the exclusive economic zones and/or territorial waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, the project is subject to the Espoo Convention on the Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context.
Under the terms of the Espoo Convention, each of the countries through whose waters Nord Stream 2 passes is a “Party of Origin.” Though Russia has signed but not ratified the Espoo Convention, the country still acts as a Party of Origin as far as it considers it possible according to its legislation. Countries that could be affected by transboundary environmental impacts from the project are defined as “Affected Parties” according to the Convention.
Since all nine coastal states of the Baltic Sea – the five Parties of Origin plus Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland – might be affected by the project, they are all considered Affected Parties. The Espoo Convention requires Parties of Origin to inform and consult Affected Parties if a proposed activity might have a potential significant impact across national boundaries.
Espoo Process in 2017
Nord Stream 2 was subject to this Espoo Process in 2017. At that time, all Parties of Origin consulted with all Affected Parties within the framework of the Espoo Convention. This process was based on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) documentation prepared by Nord Stream 2, called the “Espoo Report”. Find out more here.
Espoo Process for the Approved South-Eastern Route in Denmark
Denmark and Poland resolved a long-standing border dispute over an area located south-east of Bornholm in 2018, making it available for Nord Stream 2 and other infrastructure projects. An application for construction and an EIA for the alternative route south-east of Bornholm was thus filed on April 15, 2019.
This application was as the other applications subject to an Espoo Process. Denmark, as Party of Origin, consulted with all Affected Parties in the framework of the Espoo Convention. Find out more here.