High Level Groups discuss energy issues in European regions that have been identified as being of high priority. Organised by the European Commission, they bring together representatives from EU countries in the region, transmission system operators, and regulators. They provide strategic steering and policy guidance on technical topics. Their work also includes monitoring the progress of current Projects of Common Interest (PCIs).
High Level Groups
Currently there are four High Level Groups active in the area of energy.
Central and South Eastern Europe Energy Connectivity (CESEC) works to accelerate the integration of central eastern and south eastern European gas and electricity markets. The CESEC High Level Working Group was set up by Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia and the EU in February 2015.
They were joined later by eight Energy Community (organisation bringing EU and its neighbours together to create an integrated pan-European energy market) contracting parties: Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Montenegro.
The initial aim of the group was to coordinate efforts to facilitate the swift completion of cross-border and trans-European projects that diversify gas supplies to the region and to develop regional gas markets and implement harmonised EU rules to ensure the optimal functioning of infrastructure.
At the 4th CESEC ministerial meeting in Bucharest in September 2017, energy ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding extending the scope of CESEC cooperation. It now also includes:
- a joint approach on electricity markets, energy efficiency and renewable development
- a list of priority projects to build an interconnected regional electricity market
- specific actions to boost renewables and investment in energy efficiency in a region with vast growth potential in these areas.
Past and upcoming CESEC meetings.
North Seas Energy Cooperation works to promote interconnected deployment of offshore renewable energy in the North Seas region and the creation of a grid linking Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
South-West Europe works to enhance the integration of the Iberian Peninsula energy markets with the rest of Europe. Its overarching objective is to ensure regular monitoring of the key infrastructure projects identified in the Madrid Declaration, which undertakes to strengthen the energy networks connecting France, Spain and Portugal.
The Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) works to further integrate the Baltic States' energy market by improving energy infrastructure in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden. In 2015, the scope of BEMIP was extended to include security of supply, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and various aspects of the integration of the Baltic States' electricity network into the continental European network, including their synchronous operation.