In order to enhance the integration of the Iberian Peninsula energy markets with the rest of Europe, a new regional High Level Group for South-West Europe on interconnections has been set up.
The overall objective of the High Level Group is to ensure regular monitoring of progress on the key infrastructure projects identified in the Madrid Declaration . It also aims to provide adequate support to avoid potential delays.
The establishment of the High Level Group follows the signing of the Madrid Declaration on the 4 March 2015 by the President of France, the Prime Minister of Spain, the Prime Minister of Portugal and the President of the European Commission. The Memorandum of Understanding establishing the High Level Group was signed on 30 June 2015 in Paris.
Both the Madrid Declaration and the Memorandum of Understanding note that the Group should regularly report on progress made towards achieving the Madrid Declaration. Reporting has to be addressed to the Steering Group, which is composed of the European Commissioner responsible for energy and climate action and the Ministers of France, Spain and Portugal.
The High Level Group contains representatives from the European Commission, ministries, transmission system operators and national regulatory authorities from France, Spain and Portugal.
Integrating the Iberian Peninsula
Objectives of the High Level Group on Interconnections for South-West Europe:
- raise the capacity of electricity exchanges between Spain and France to 8 000 MW in 2020
- carry out assessments in order to complete the Eastern gas axis between Portugal, Spain and France
- ensure that the projects identified in the Madrid Declaration are finalised quickly, avoiding potential delays
- prepare an implementation plan to be adopted by the Steering Group. This plan is a long-term strategy that will be regularly updated following the results of the work of the High Level Group, in line with the terms of the Madrid Declaration
- determine all issues (regulatory, permitting, coordination, technical and financial) impeding the rapid development and/or completion of these infrastructure projects.