Creation date: October 15, 2015
The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker welcomed today the signing of the grant agreement on the GIPL (Gas Interconnector Poland – Lithuania), the first pipeline connecting Poland and Lithuania.
The first gas interconnector between Poland and Lithuania will end the long lasting isolation of the Baltic Sea region and bring the energy needed for a new economic dynamism to the region.
Witnessed by President Juncker, together with the Prime Minister of Poland, Ewa Kopacz, the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaité, the Prime Minister of Latvia, Laimdota Straujuma and the Prime Minister of Estonia, Taavi Rõivas, today's signature is also a breakthrough increasing the security of supply and bringing more resilience to the European energy market.
A central element of the EU's Energy Union strategy is bridging missing links in the energy infrastructure. The solidarity shown by the participating member states shows how joining forces can make all parts of the European Union stronger and more resilient to potential shortages. The participating states are committed to work together also in the future to further reinforce the region's integration into the EU's internal energy market.
The Commission has committed itself to creating links that allow energy to flow where it is most needed and to ensure that every member state has access to at least three sources for energy. Building missing cross-border links between the Baltic Sea region and the rest of the EU energy market is a priority for the Commission.
At the occasion of the signature of the joint declaration, President Juncker said: "Today's signature is about European solidarity. It is about leaders taking responsible decisions to increase our security and strengthen our resilience. Today we have done much more than bringing the energy isolation of the Baltic States to an end. We have brought the region further together. Today we have agreed on European infrastructure that will unite us, instead of dividing us."
Today's signature will enable the promoters to start construction works with the aim of finalising the pipeline by December 2019. The Baltic States and Poland will mandate their Ministers in charge of Energy Policy to monitor the implementation of the project and ensure its construction according to the agreed timeline. At the occasion of the signing the Heads of State or Government present issued a statement confirming their commitment to continue working in further interconnecting and strengthening the resilience of their energy markets.