Andris Piebalgs Energy CommissionerPriority Action Plan for the EuroMed Energy Cooperation Presentation of the Priority Action Plan at the EuroMed Energy Ministerial ConferenceLimassol, 17 December 2007

20 octobre 2021 Pierre Perrin-Monlouis

Presentation of the Priority Action Plan at the EuroMed Energy Ministerial Conference
Limassol, 17 December 2007

Dear Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to present to you the main lines of the comprehensive Priority Action Plan for the Euro-Mediterranean energy cooperation, running from 2008 to 2013, which we have prepared together and that we shall formally endorse today.

I truly believe that we have produced a sound Strategy, based on an ambitious set of balanced actions, which reflects our shared views on what we should be doing together over the next years as a response to the energy challenges. This should contribute in getting a secure, sustainable and competitive energy in the region.

In the Action Plan, we are focusing our efforts on three main areas that are:

– Firstly, to ensure the improved harmonization of energy markets and legislations and to pursue the integration of energy markets in the Euro-Mediterranean region;

– Secondly, to promote sustainable development in the energy sector;

– And thirdly, to develop initiatives of common interest in key areas, such as infrastructure extension, investment financing and research and development.

Our first priority area of action is to ensure the improved harmonization of energy markets and legislations and to pursue the integration of energy markets in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

For this, we need to develop realistic scenarios regarding energy policy objectives, master plans and reform agendas, as well as to define longer term policy objectives and priorities, to develop the use of appropriate set of tools, such as demand/supply forecasts, and to establish adequate monitoring and benchmarking tools, taking into account differences in national situations.

To achieve this goal, we also need to encourage the setting up of monitoring systems designed to assess progress and prospects for energy sector reform. This obviously implies developing a comprehensive regional database, containing all information, relevant to the status and progress of energy reforms in the Mediterranean Partner Countries. This database will also provide examples of best-practices, it will serve as a permanent common reference and contribute to define benchmarks. In addition, the Action Plan mentions the establishment and development of independent energy regulatory agencies. In this regard, I would be particularly pleased to see the work that has been developed under the Mediterranean Working Group on Electricity and Natural Gas Regulation consolidated and expanded to facilitate the transparency of information and mutual understanding and benchmarking.

With regards to the second priority – to promote sustainable development of the energy sector – we foresee to develop and implement appropriate strategies and build up the necessary institutional capacity for promoting sustainable energy in the Mediterranean Partner Countries, building inter alia on the knowledge and experience of the European Union as well as in the successful examples being implemented across the Mediterranean region. In this field, our efforts need to be focused in actions aiming at an enhanced cooperation in regulatory policy, institutional building, the networking of experts, as well as addressing the financial aspects.

One of its elements relates to the proposed review of the experiences gained in the framework of the MED-ENEC project which is successfully promoting energy efficiency in the construction sector in several Mediterranean countries. We recognise the potential that exists for replicating these experiences in other areas, such as improved energy performance of buildings, clean urban transport systems, improved efficiency in the energy transformation, transport and distribution systems, or, for example, biomass production and co-generation.

However, to foster sustainable development of the energy sector, priority actions do also concern reduction of gas flaring by encouraging, for instance, the participation in the World Bank Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership by producing countries.

And finally, a third priority area concerns the joint development of initiatives of common interest in key areas, including infrastructure. Here, our overall objective is to facilitate the implementation of investments in energy infrastructure of common interest in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

We are focusing on the improvement of the functioning of the Mediterranean regional and sub-regional gas and electricity markets, the extension of the ongoing sub-regional projects in these sectors in the Maghreb and Mashreq, and their ultimate integration with the EU internal markets as well as the Sub-Saharan region.

We would also see an opportunity to work jointly, in particular with the support of the European Investment Bank, to strengthen electricity and natural gas networks. We would also see a need to enhance the rationalisation, modernisation and necessary expansion of refineries, oil products terminals, logistics and distribution in the Mediterranean Partner Countries, as well as to enhance Energy Research and Development cooperation.

The Action Plan identifies a list of priority infrastructure projects. This would help to trigger financing by international financial institutions. But let me stress that this list, as well as all the actions under the Action Plan, require financial effort of all of us. The European Commission will finance its share and facilitate the regional cooperation, but substantial investments will be required from national budgets together with an appropriate involvement of the private sector. This requires a stable and open investment climate.

Dear Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This Priority Action Plan clearly shows that the Euro-Mediterranean region can and should play an important role in the field of energy. Moreover, energy is a sector in which we can make a real breakthrough, thus bringing a new impetus to the overall Euromed cooperation. That is why at today’s Ministerial Conference, we are proposing a new ambitious energy partnership. Your full support and participation are crucial for the success of this partnership which offers new opportunities, but invites us to be truly ambitious.

Thank you.

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