A total of 15 EU countries have agreed to work together to build gas infrastructure links.
The joint work under the European Commission’s ‘Central Eastern and South-Eastern European Gas Connectivity’ (CESEC) will focus on building new gas pipelines as well as making the best use of existing infrastructure, for example, by allowing reverse flow.
They signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the initiative, which also aims to tackle the technical and regulatory issues that hamper security of supply and the development of a fully integrated energy market.
Some of the projects that have been identified as top priorities include the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), LNG terminal in Croatia, interconnectors between Greece and Bulgaria and Serbia and Bulgaria.
The Commission expects each Member Sate in the region to have access to at least three difference sources of gas as a result of the initiative.
Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy said: “Regional co-operation is a cornerstone of our work on closer integration of energy markets. Therefore effective co-operation between the countries in Central Eastern and South-East Europe is key to ensuring secure energy supplies and affordable prices for consumers in the region.
“Whilst every country has to face its specific energy issues, addressing them together can offer cheaper and more effective solutions.”