International Consultation Process

Espoo Process

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. Nord Stream 2 will run through the exclusive economic zones and/or territorial waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany and 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". Russia has signed but not ratified the Espoo Convention, however, Russia acts as a Party of Origin as far as it considers it possible according to its legislation. Countries which 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 impact of 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.

International Consultations based on the Espoo Report

Nord Stream 2 has prepared an environmental impact assessment to document potential transboundary impacts in English and in the nine languages of the Baltic Sea. The so-called "Espoo Report" is based on the national environmental impact assessments and extensive environmental studies that have been prepared by Nord Stream 2. The Espoo Report has been submitted to the Parties of Origin in April 2017, which then provided the documentation to all Affected Parties as the basis for national participation of authorities and the public.

Public Participation

The Espoo Report, including a comprehensive Map Atlas as well as a Non-Technical Summary prepared for the non-specialist reader, has been a key element of the public participation process for Nord Stream 2: interested parties have been invited to submit feedback on the project proposals and related impact assessments. The relevant national authority in each Affected Party has organised public participation, information meetings and other means of consultation on the Espoo Report according to their national legal requirements. Between May to September 2017 Nord Stream 2 has participated in twelve public hearings in the Baltic Sea region in which Nord Stream 2's environmental documentation on national and transboundary level have been discussed.

As a result of the public participation period, statements relating to the pipeline project have been submitted to the competent authorities from associations, authorities and private bodies in all countries of the Baltic Sea region. The responsible national authorities of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany will take them into account as part of their decision on whether to grant the permits for the project and on what conditions.

The Espoo Report, Map Atlas and the Non-Technical Summary can be downloaded in English and in all nine languages of the Baltic Sea region in the document library.