Many EU countries in Central and South Eastern Europe are still reliant on a single supplier of natural gas. They are also unable to send gas to each other due to a lack of pipelines connecting them. The building of North-South interconnections in Central and South Eastern Europe (North-South East) can help improve the situation.
Key goals for North-South East
- strengthen regional networks in North-South and East-West power flow directions
- establish an appropriate balancing system to prevent blackouts and solve infrastructure gaps, especially those related to increased generation from renewables.
- connect European gas supply sources from the Baltic, Adriatic, and Black Seas to the rest of Europe.
- establish a Central Eastern European Oil Pipeline Ring and provide connections to the Baltic, Adriatic, and Black Seas.
Working group studies
DG Energy commissioned two external studies on the gas and electricity markets.
North-South East action plan
10 Member States signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) expressing their will to further develop the electricity, gas, and oil infrastructure in the region. The MoU was accompanied by an action plan which identifies regional priority projects and a list of actions to be taken. Many of these projects have since been completed or transferred into the list of EU projects of common interest. Projects can also get financial support through the European Regional Development Fund and the EU's Cohesion Fund.
EU strategy for the Danube
The EU launched its strategy for the Danube region in 2010. Energy prices there are relatively high because much of its energy is imported and infrastructure between countries is not well connected. To help remedy this, part of the Danube strategy aims 'to encourage more sustainable energy' including through actions on infrastructure such as:
- building North-South gas interconnection projects linking the Baltic Sea area with the Adriatic and Aegean Seas, and possibly even the Black Sea
- ensuring that all countries in Central and Eastern Europe have adequate access to gas storage
- exploring ways to extend the EU's internal energy market to non-EU states in South Eastern Europe.