The primary objective of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) initiative is to achieve an open and integrated regional electricity and gas market between EU countries in the Baltic Sea region, ending energy isolation. The initiative's members are the European Commission and Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, and Sweden. Norway participates as an observer.
The first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the BEMIP initiative was signed on 17 June 2009 and focused on electricity and gas markets, infrastructure and power generation. On 8 June 2015, a new MoU was signed extending the initiative's scope to security of supply, energy efficiency, renewable energy and the integration of the Baltic States' electricity network into the continental European network, including their synchronous operation. Dedicated working groups (on infrastructure, markets, gas and electricity security of supply, synchronisation and renewables and energy efficiency) prepare specific measures, projects and studies necessary for achieving the initiative's objectives and targets.
As part of the implementation of BEMIP, a number of cross-border and domestic infrastructure projects have been completed across the Baltics to further their integration with the Nordic electricity market. The completion of key electricity infrastructure projects such as Estlink, Nordbalt and the LitPol Link (connecting the three Baltic states with Finland, Sweden and Poland respectively) significantly improved the Baltic countries' integration in the EU energy market, and their security of supply. The Baltic States are now amongst the best interconnected regions of Europe, with an interconnection level of 23%. Nevertheless, further efforts are needed to complete remaining electricity and gas infrastructure projects, develop a regional gas market, and make the most of the region's energy efficiency and renewable energy potential.
The three Baltic states' electricity grid still operates in a synchronous way with the Russian and Belarusian systems. A dedicated BEMIP Working Group steers work on achieving the synchronisation of the Baltics' grid with the continental European network by 2025.
EU solidarity and regional cooperation: Integration of the Baltics into the European electricity grid (news published on 15 December 2017)
Major gas projects in the Baltic region include the Gas Interconnector Poland – Lithuania (GIPL), the Balticconnector project, and the development of infrastructure between the Baltic states. The GIPL aims to connect the Baltic and Finnish gas networks with the continental European gas network by the end of 2021 and the Balticconnector will provide an important gas link between Finland and Estonia. It will connect the Finnish gas network with the continental European Network, ending Finland's gas isolation from the rest of mainland Europe. The project will allow Finland and the Baltic States to diversify their gas sources, providing alternative routes and increasing the security of gas supply and energy market integration in the region. This will foster competition on the market and ultimately provide consumers with a cheaper and more stable gas supply.