The energy policy objectives of the EU – competitiveness, security of supply and sustainability – can only be achieved through a well-interconnected and well-functioning internal energy market, backed up by coordinated action by Member States to enhance their solidarity.
The North-South Interconnections in Central and South Eastern Europe ("North-South East") were identified among the priority corridors of the Energy Infrastructure Package.
A High Level Group (HLG) for North-South Interconnections has been set up with the aim of promoting the implementation of energy infrastructure projects and improving security of supply and market development in the region. Three working groups have also been set up (for gas, electricity and oil) to support the work of the HLG.
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On 23 November 2011, representatives from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) expressed their converged will to further develop electricity, gas and oil infrastructure development in the region. The MoU was accompanied by the "Action Plan for North-South energy interconnections in Central-Eastern Europe" identifying the regional priority projects and a list of actions to be taken.
On 8 December 2010, the EU Strategy for Danube Region was adopted. The Action Plan is one of the outputs of the Strategy approach. Its aim is to go from ‘words to actions’ by identifying the concrete priorities for the macro-region. Once an action or project is included in the Action Plan, it should be implemented by the countries and stakeholders concerned. The projects are considered to be illustrative, providing examples of types of projects or approaches to be more generally encouraged.