A group of eight European Union (EU) member states surrounding the Baltic Sea have signed a memorandum of understanding with José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, in an attempt to improve the energy infrastructure in the region.
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden and Poland have all signed the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP). Norway, which is not a member of the EU, also signed the agreement with an observer status.
The plan represents an attempt to increase energy security in the region, with a specific focus on connecting Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to the wider EU energy networks.
With Sweden part of the deal, the Swedish presidency of the EU, which will come into effect at the beginning of next month, is expected to help facilitate a concrete follow-up to the plan.
European commissioner for energy Andris Piebalgs said of the agreement: “Ending the effective isolation of the Baltic States, which still form an energy island, is an urgent task to deal with. Looking at the actions and projects the plan contains and which are now endorsed by the countries of the region, I am now confident that this objective can be achieved in a mid-term perspective.”
Energy infrastructure projects covered by the agreement fall into three categories: projects between Nordic countries, projects linking the Baltic area with Nordic countries and interconnections between Poland and Germany.
The agreement also puts forward a new market model aimed at removing the barriers to a regional electricity market in the Baltic States in conformity with the EU internal electricity market rules.