The first meeting of the Central East South Europe Gas Connectivity (CESEC) High-Level Group is another step towards creating an Energy Union (February 9, 2015 in Sofia). The Commission was represented by Vice-President for Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy Miguel Arias Cañete. Representatives of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia were present.
- on an Action Plan with concrete deliverables to accelerate implementation of the identified interconnector projects and the optimal use of existing infrastructure (will be adopted by early summer 2015);
- to establish a regional priority infrastructure roadmap and advance its implementation in order to develop missing infrastructure and improve security of gas supplies in the Central Eastern Europe and South Eastern Europe region;
- that ultimately each Member State of the region should have access to at least three different sources of gas [the notion of redundancy, known from IT infrastructure, applied]. But the main problem is still there – it is to find alternative suppliers, and with about two-thirds of Eastern Europe’s gas coming from Russia, more needs to be done;
- in addition - Bulgaria, Romania and Greece have reached an agreement for the construction of the so-called Vertical Gas Corridor.
[Tweet "other five countries of Central Europe were not present at the meeting: Poland, the Baltic States"] CESEC High-Level Group has to be congratulated on an excellent and timely initiative. CEEP sees this development as an important step towards the integration of the gas market in Central South-Eastern Europe, and we regard it as a component of laying the foundations of the Energy Union. But, on the other hand, as we have learned, other five countries of Central Europe were not present at the meeting: Poland, the Baltic States – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and the Czech Republic. The absence of some of the Member States of the region at the meeting does not correspond with the spirit and important principles of the Energy Union framework.
Solidarity is the central pillar of the Energy Union. Some of the Member States are more vulnerable than others, but in the end, energy security of supply concerns every EU country. As CEEP, we want to stress the need of an Energy Union with a solidarity principle clearly visible and adhered to. Knowing only too well the nature of challenges in the energy infrastructure in Central Europe, we do believe that all Central European countries have to be included in the CESEC High-Level group in order to build a single internal energy market, in which energy flows freely and in which prices are affordable, without any “energy islands” and fragmentation of Europe.
Joint Press Statement by Ministers and Representatives of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia and the European Commission after the meeting, Sofia.