Central and Eastern Europe needs to diversify the gas supply sources, not only the routes

Diversifying the gas supplies to Central and Eastern Europe, not only by its routes, but by the sources of supply will allow the creation of a real gas market, with free competition between suppliers and freedom of choice for customers. In the light of this, the decision of the European Commission allowing Gazprom increased access to the capacity of the OPAL pipeline, as well the pursue of the Nord Stream 2 project are contrary to the Energy Union principles and detrimental to the region. These are the key messages discussed during the first edition of Central European Day of Energy, in Brussels.

All European projects, according to the Energy Union rules, should increase energy security, solidarity and trust. They also have to comply with the European common rules concerning third party access and competition policy, hence without posing a threat of disruption on existing routes.

The gas infrastructure in CEE is still mainly East-West oriented. Therefore, one of the main priorities for the region is the implementation of the North-South gas corridor, a key enabler for breaking the Central Europe’s dependence upon Russian gas. The North–South Corridor comprises a set of interrelated energy infrastructure projects, which would connect Central European markets, both with each other, and with the Western part of the continent. This will be the backbone of Central Europe’s energy infrastructure and will further enhance the region’s energy security.

The European Commission’s Vice-President in charge of Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, reminded that “2016 will be remembered as a highly turbulent year, a turning point between the old and the new energy systems. With the just released “Clean Energy For All Europeans” legislative package we made sure that the necessary legislation is there to frame all these profound changes. The biggest changes since the centralised energy system was introduced in our continent.”

When it comes to the security of supply in the electricity sector, Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP) underlined that the security of supply in the electricity sector should take into account the different electricity mixes of the EU Member States.

A proper market design for integrated energy markets of CEE countries, constitutes a strategic goal for energy co-operation in the region and the new legislative package will profoundly reshape how power is generated, traded and transported. However, the ambition should go beyond just the development of physical infrastructure and interconnections, and also include a regulatory framework”, stated Rafał Miland, Vice – Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEEP.

The event was organised by Central Europe Energy Partners in association with the European Commission, DG Energy, and with the support of International Visegrad Fund, on the 9th of December, in Brussels. This first edition was prepared in cooperation with partners from Visegrad countries and Ukraine:  Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE), Poland; Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (RC SFPA), Slovakia; The Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT), Hungary; The Institute for Politics and Society (IPS), Czech Republic; Razumkov Centre, Ukraine.