The ministers responsible for energy of the Visegrad Group countries (Martin Kocourek, Minister for Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, Tamás Fellegi, Minister of National Development of Hungary, Waldemar Pawlak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Poland, Juraj Miškov, Minister of Economy of Slovakia) support further development of regional cooperation in the energy sector.
Being aware of the utmost efficiency of regional cooperation in the energy sector during the process of creating the European Internal Energy Market and of the benefits arising from that process for EU citizens and the economies of EU Member States,
Reaffirming the importance of the Declaration of the Budapest V4+ Energy Security Summit of 24 February 2010 for development of the Visegrad cooperation in energy,
Having regard to the Communications of the European Commission:
"Energy 2020—A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy"
"Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond--A Blueprint for an integrated European energy network"
"The future Role of Regional Initiatives"
Stressing the need for the development of the energy policy of the European Union implementing the objectives as agreed in the Treaty of Lisbon,
During their meeting on the 25th of January 2011, the Ministers expressed their support for:
INCREASING the importance of energy cooperation in the region of the Visegrad Four Group (V4), the need to further develop the regional energy sector as part of the EU energy market, and for highlighting the importance of the V4 region in the European Union,
EMPHASIZING the role of the Visegrad region in the Commission Communication "Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond" (COM(2010) 677 final), which determines the main priorities of the European Union in terms of infrastructure and proposes the establishment of a High Level Group on North-South Energy Interconnections in Central Eastern Europe. Ministers also take note of the European Commission's view to include the countries of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia as well as Croatia as an observer in this new initiative with the mandate to devise an action plan in the course of 2011 for North-South and East-West connections in gas and oil as well as electricity while taking into account the existing institutions of regional groupings,
THE ASSUMPTION that the V4 Working Groups may establish common positions to be represented in the proposed High Level Group on North-South Energy Interconnections in Central-Eastern Europe and its working groups,
ENHANCING mutual cooperation in all areas of energy, and energy security in particular, and developing rules of cooperation in elaborating common V4 opinions in the context of EU institutions and initiatives,
ENDORSING the view that all necessary infrastructures, which would allow physical access to at least two different gas sources from outside of the European Union, should be implemented in the broader Visegrad region in order to alleviate single source dependency,
THE DEVELOPMENT of cooperation through joint projects and exchange of information on energy policies, as well as on related areas, particularly national legal and regulatory frameworks,
ACCELERATING the implementation of energy projects in oil, gas and electricity sectors within V4 countries taking account of the related EU priorities in this field;
PREPARING the preliminary design of the North-South Energy Corridor, which will require:
the identification of potential benefits of the Corridor for V4 countries and, if applicable, for other countries involved, in terms of security of supply and new sources for enhanced competition in the region,
the accelerated preparation of the technical documentation and the evaluation of further possibilities of regional cooperation (NETS, etc.),
the preparation of a common schedule of V4 countries' activities carried out by 2013 which shall be finalized by the end of 2011, taking into account the process of the High Level Group on North-South Energy Interconnections in Central-Eastern Europe proposed by the Commission
the preparation of the technical design of the necessary projects within 2011, with the aim for the whole corridor to be put into operation by 2020 at the latest.,
the joint support of project elements in terms of potential financing methods, cost sharing principles and technical solutions,
the implementation of further necessary actions to achieve the realization of all elements of the Corridor by the end of new financial perspective of the EU,
COORDINATION of actions aiming at maintaining stable and undisrupted crude oil supplies by the Druzhba pipeline,
THE NEED to search for possibilities to diversify oil supplies, based on the shared supply dependence of this region with regards to this strategic resource which is delivered mostly by the Druzhba oil pipeline. Such possibilities might include the upgrading of the existing Adria pipeline or the increasing of capacity of the TAL pipeline.
THE DEVELOPMENT of cooperation and identification of other projects which are necessary for interconnecting the Visegrad group with the neighbouring regions, and hence the diversification of supply routes and energy resources in the broad region,
TAKING UP the discussion on the Communication on the future Role of Regional Initiatives in a manner, which can contribute to the effective development and implementation of the EU energy policy within the broader Visegrad region,
During the meeting the Ministers also supported the need for:
enhancing cooperation in the Research and Development field of energy, particularly with regards to the cooperation in nuclear energy and clean coal technologies, which can—among others—be achieved by the implementation of the SET Plan of the European Union,
performing a common analysis and risk assessment of existing and planned infrastructure projects. This could constitute a good basis for the establishment of a joint project to assess the supply risks of consumers in the region and the potential development of regional cooperation in crisis situations in the field of energy,
strengthening the cooperation in the electricity sector aimed at enhancing the technical safety of power systems in the region. Such cooperation would contribute to the elimination of risks and enable the improvement of the regional electricity market as a part of European Internal Energy Market,
a coordinated approach to the Regulation of Council and EP no. 994/2010 on security of gas supply, including the coordination of national Preventive Action Plans and Emergency Plans in the V4 Region, where applicable,
reviewing possibilities for mutual cooperation and development of a solidarity mechanism in the V4 Region in case of gas supply disruption and rules of cooperation in case of electricity or oil supplies disruption
an effective co-ordination of all activities of the Visegrad group and its energy working groups in relation to the newly established High Level Group on North-South Energy Interconnections in Central-Eastern Europe in order not to duplicate activities.
The Ministers took note of the preparation of a new energy security and infrastructure instrument deriving from Commission communication "Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond" and consider the role of cohesion policy instruments in the energy sector as effective tools for maximising the impact of European financial intervention in energy.
Bratislava, 25 January 2011