European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic (photo L) paid an official visit to Romania on Thursday, October 15, as part of a tour promoting the Energy Union. The EU official met Prime Minister Victor Ponta, presented the advantages of the Energy Union in a national context, met members of the Government and of Parliament, as well as representatives of the civil society and of the industrial sector.
In an interview for Agerpres, the Romanian Press Agency, Sefcovic reiterated the major role that Romania and her resources have within the European Energy Union project.
Among others, he pointed out: “I believe Romania is in a place that confers to her the status of regional energy hub; you play a very important role and I thank your representatives for the very important role they have had in the so-called Central East South Europe Gas Connectivity (CESEC) High Level Group, because Romania and its interconnectors will be very important for energy security in Europe… There are many outlooks for a lot of natural gas pipelines transiting your country’s territory. We can talk about vertical corridors, we can talk about BRUA projects (Bulgaria-Romania-Ungaria/Hungary-Austria natural gas corridor – editor’s note) or we can talk about other projects that have already been mentioned in this context, such as the eastern corridor. After all, I believe the future of these projects will be decided by commercial viability, the talks between the operators of natural transmission grids and real needs. I believe Romania will definitely consolidate its role as regional energy hub in South-East Europe and the Western Balkans.”
Foreign Minister Aurescu meets EC Vice President Sefcovic
Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu and European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic on Thursday discussed the European approaches to energy, in the context of the validation of the Energy Union Strategy by the European Council this March and of the State of the Energy Union report to be released by the EC on November 18, according to a media release of the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE).
It was an occasion for Aurescu to underline Romania’s priority interest in the debates and actions on European level in the energy sector and to reconfirm the country’s firm support to the establishment of the Energy Union.
Sefcovic appreciated Romania’s support in drafting and promoting the Energy Union, as “one of the [EU] member states with the most active involvement in this file.” He stressed the importance of Romania’s further involvement in the implementation of the goals of this strategy, including in European debates on the governance system of the Energy Union.
“Minister Aurescu also emphasized the need of consolidating the energy security dimension, especially by diversifying the supply routes and sources; he underscored the role of domestic sources, in particular those under the continental plateau of the Black Sea, which must be put to work in an adequate manner. He also voiced Romania’s interest in the future initiatives of the European Commission, aiming at consolidating the energy security dimension, and he underlined the potential of Romania’s priority energy projects – the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria natural gas transmission corridor, the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania Interconnector (AGRI) for liquefied natural gas, the interconnections with the neighbouring states, especially the Republic of Moldova – on a regional and European level. In this respect, he pleaded for adequate perspectives of EU financing for these projects,” the release mentions.
The sides highlighted the importance of continuing joint efforts to develop the regional energy infrastructure, with a view to set up an integrated and functional domestic market and to consolidate the European energy security.
“The two high officials estimated that – owing to its strategic position in the European Union – Romania’s progress in the modernization of the energy market benefit more than its own supply security, namely the whole region, equally the EU states and other neighbouring ones. In this context, they approached the concrete ways in which the Energy Union could support Romania’s efforts to accelerate the modernization of the energy sector and the regional integration in this field,” the source adds.
Aurescu emphasized the importance of the regional cooperation “as a vital element of the European Union energy policy to reach the assumed goals,” and appreciated the EC Vice President’s initiative of creating a cooperation framework dedicated to the Central and South-Eastern Europe (the CESEC group), which also includes Energy Community member states.