A NEW ‘TO DO LIST’
- Written by Adrian Stoica
The European Commission launched on July 10, 2015, in Dubrovnik, the CESEC (Central and South-Eastern Europe Gas Connectivity) initiative to guarantee access to wider energy mix for the Central and South-Eastern European countries and their appropriate interconnection to the rest of Europe. A new CESEC meeting, the fourth, took place in late September in Bucharest, where the energy ministers of nine EU member states (Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia) and eight contracting parties to the Energy Community (Serbia, Ukraine, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Republic of Moldova) have agreed to strengthen regional cooperation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to supplement the CESEC initiative, by which they agreed upon national roadmaps for improving the trade agreements in the region, reaffirming thus the commitment to rapidly implement priority gas projects.
The MoU includes a common approach regarding the electricity markets, energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources, and a list of priority projects to set up an interconnected regional electricity market, as well as specific measures to stimulate renewable energy sources and investments in energy efficiency, in a region with great potential for growth in these sectors.
For Romania in particular this new CESEC session was a reconfirmation of the European Commission support for the Vertical Corridor between Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Hungary, its completion is to be facilitated by the European Commission.
In fact, the importance of the meeting was highlighted from the very beginning by the Romanian Energy Minister Toma Petcu, who stated: “For Romania, the CESEC meeting in Bucharest is a good opportunity to present the steps ahead in completing the energy infrastructure projects which we have agreed upon, first of all the BRHA project, but also the interconnections with the neighbouring states and the many projects that we have proposed together with the Government of the Republic of Moldova. Also, during the talks with Vice-President Šefčovič (Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Energy Union – our note) and with Commissioner Cañete (Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate and Energy Policy – our note), we will have the opportunity to discuss Romania’s contribution to establishing the Energy Union, our role in strengthening regional energy security and in supporting the role of the European Union as global actor in the field of climate change. The meeting in Bucharest is a milestone for the entire region by opening up new opportunities for cooperation in the field of electricity infrastructure, energy efficiency and renewable energies.”
Through its geographical position and its potential, our country has the chance, in the new context, to play an important role in the regional energy equation, both by capitalizing on its own resources and by actively promoting the redistribution of energy resources from the Caspian Sea area, the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean to the European market. That is why Romania envisages the pairing of the national plans for development/modernization of the domestic energy transport infrastructure with the corridors at regional level, in order to attract regional flows, using Romania’s national transmission system. On the other hand, the Black Sea, in light of the important hydrocarbon reserves identified, has attracted the interest of large companies. Adding these reserves to the current (declining) domestic output could provide Romania with real opportunity to become in the coming years a producer and exporter of energy to Europe.