On Monday 9 February, Commission Vice-President in charge of the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič met with representatives of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia at a first meeting of the Central East South Europe Gas Connectivity (CESEC) High Level Group. The meeting took place in Sofia. The aim of the high level group is to prepare the regional priority infrastructure roadmap and, later on, oversee its implementation. The East-Central and South-Eastern region of the EU faces many challenges with regard to its gas supplies, its lack of interconnectors and reliance on often a single gas suppliers make the region very vulnerable. The Commission recently started work on the Energy Union, which should be very comprehensive and ambitious. Strong interconnectivity infrastructure is one of the key pillars of the project. The High Level Group should come up with a first roadmap proposal by early summer.
Vice-President Šefčovič commented that each country in the region should have access to at least three independent sources of gas. One of the solutions will be the so-called Southern Gas Corridor. Following the failure of the ambitious project Nabucco, designed to bring Caspian gas through Balkans to Central Europe, and further on to the west, Turkey started working on the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline, which would bring the same Caspian gas to its wastern borders. From there, the new Trans-Adriatic Pipeline should transport the gas through Greece and Albania to Southern Italy, where it would connect to the existing transport infrastructure. Good interconnectivity between the EU member states could mean that Caspian gas from the Southern Gas Corridor could be a wholy new source for each country, including Central and South-Eastern members.
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