In order to accelerate the integration of Central- and South-Eastern European gas markets and diversify gas supplies, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia and the EU set up a High Level Working Group in February 2015. The aim of the group is to coordinate efforts to facilitate cross-border and trans-European projects that diversify gas supplies to the region, as well as to implement harmonised rules.
In July 2015 the High Level Group agreed a Memorandum of Understanding and Action Plan to boost security of energy supply and create a connected and competitive energy market in the region.
Objectives of the High Level Group on Central and South Eastern Europe Gas Connectivity:
- To ensure that interconnector projects already underway in the region but facing implementation difficulties are finalised quickly
- To identify and jointly commit to a limited number of priority infrastructure projects in Central and South-Eastern Europe
- To determine all issues (e.g. regulatory, permitting, coordination, technical and financial) impeding the rapid development and/or completion of these infrastructure projects
- To prepare an Action Plan identifying project-specific technical, financial as well as regulatory measures
The High Level Group is divided into technical sub-groups covering three infrastructure corridors which enable bi-directional gas flows:
- South-East: between the Aegean and Ionian Seas and Ukraine
- Central-East: between the Black Sea and Central Europe
- Adriatic: between the Adriatic Sea and Ukraine
These regional sub-groups will be primarily composed of the High Level Group participants from countries along the corridors.