Today, the European Commission and the Baltic Sea Region countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding modernising and strengthening the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan. At the same time, 12 European countries signed a declaration for regional cooperation on security of electricity supply within the European internal market. This was followed by the signature of a political declaration of the Pentalateral Energy Forum.
Regional co-operation with neighbouring countries within a common European Union framework is a key building block for the Energy Union. This is paramount for ensuring uninterrupted energy supplies and affordable prices for consumers. Regional co-operation will help achieve EU-wide market integration and further contribute to unlocking the full potential of renewables in the energy system.
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "These agreements are a first milestone. They give the political backing to a stronger energy co-operation in Europe. The signatory countries are determined to enhance security of supply through further market integration. This is one of the main building blocks of the Energy Union which is one of the key priorities of the Juncker Commission. Today the Member States begin synchronising their efforts and working together towards cheaper and more effective solutions. Where there is a will there is a way. Today Member States are showing their will."
The Pentalateral Energy Forum is the framework for regional cooperation in Central Western Europe. It was created in 2005 by Energy Ministers from Benelux countries, Austria, Germany and France (with Switzerland as a permanent observer) in order to promote collaboration on cross-border exchange of electricity.
The BEMIP High Level Group was established in October 2008 by the Commission and eight Member States (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden) and Norway (acting as an observer). BEMIP seeks to end the energy isolation of the Baltic Sea Region and to integrate it fully into the EU energy markets. In autumn 2014 the Commission launched the reform of the BEMIP initiative to further reinforce cooperation on energy matters in the Baltic Sea Region.