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International Visegrad Fund

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Declaration of the Budapest V4+ Energy Security Summit

Upon the initiative of Visegrad Group a V4+ Energy Security Summit was held in Budapest on the 24th of February 2010. It was attended by high ranking representatives from countries of Central-, East-, South-East-Europe and important international stakeholders.
  • Being aware of the utmost importance of the issue of energy security,

  • Reiterating that countries of Central-, East- and South-East-Europe are facing similar challenges in the energy sector,

  • Reaffirming that common energy challenges could be better dealt with on the basis of regional cooperation as well as in the EU framework,

  • Underlining the importance of promoting the European Union's external relations with new alternative suppliers of energy as well as boosting the energy dialogue of the Union with the existing supply- and transit countries,

  • Taking into consideration the importance of diversifying the natural gas and oil supply to the European Union and in particular to the countries of Central-, East- and South-East-Europe,

  • Noting the relevance of this Visegrad+ type of initiative for emulating extended frameworks for energy cooperation in the framework of EU neighbourhood policy (for example the Black Sea and Eastern Partnership, etc.),

  • Recognizing the lack of adequate interconnections and limited possibilities of reverse flow among the countries of the region,

  • Noting that the process of establishment of the EU internal gas market is advanced but it has not been completed yet,

  • Stressing the need to secure the effective functioning of the internal gas market, especially by shifting the contractual gas delivery points to the EU external borders in future,

  • Concluding that joint planning and development of infrastructure for the transport and for the storage of natural gas and crude oil as well as the proper functioning of the EU internal energy market is necessary in order to enable solidarity reaction in case of crisis,

  • Reaffirming their support to develop the Southern Energy Corridor facilitating the access of countries of Central-, East- and South-East-Europe to gas and oil supplies from the Caspian Sea region and the Middle East and their will to implement the Southern Corridor Summit Declaration,

  • Emphasizing the essential role and the need of emergency plans for a stronger regional cooperation as well as an effective EU solidarity mechanism in gas sector enabling an appropriate response of the European Union relevant to the nature of the crisis situation,

  • Recognising the necessity of further developing the electricity and gas markets of the Energy Community countries and integrating them into the EU energy internal market and strengthening cohesion of regional electricity networks inter alia in order to implement and operate in the most efficient way the planned nuclear power projects[*],

  • Taking note of the intention of the European Commission to replace the existing TEN-E instrument by the EU Energy Security and Infrastructure Instrument with the possible objective of completing the EU internal energy market, ensuring the development of the grid to permit the achievement of the EU's renewable energy objectives and guaranteeing the EU security of energy supply, through infrastructure projects within and outside the EU,

  • Reiterating the urgency of these matters,

  • Driven by the spirit of solidarity and cooperation, and encouraged by the objectives of EU energy policy as outlined in the Treaty of Lisbon,

The Czech Republic, the Republic of Hungary, the Slovak Republic and the Republic of Poland, as Member States of the Visegrad Group as well as the Republic of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Serbia, the Republic of Slovenia and Romania[**]
  • Express their support to strengthen cooperation in further integrating their gas networks and diversifying routes and sources of supplies:
    • By promoting the North-South interconnections through all V4 countries, between the planned Croatian and Polish Liquefied Natural Gas terminals and also
    • By further promoting and implementing the Nabucco and the NETS projects,
    • By supporting the Constanta LNG terminal and other LNG and CNG projects in the wider Black Sea Region,

  • Expect urgent political agreement with the European Parliament as regards the regulation on security of gas supplies which should ensure in particular the effective EU reaction in cases where the EU gas market is no longer able to respond to the gas supply disruption autonomously. Due to this the European Commission should coordinate measures predefined in national and EU emergency plans in order to restore the functioning of the internal gas market,

  • Strongly favour that immediate acknowledgement of common regional interests should be made in the process of the establishment of the Second Action Plan for EU Energy Policy (2010-2014), inter alia on the architecture and the budget of the new EU Energy Security and Infrastructure Instrument,

  • Are determined to strengthen the region's energy security with a strong and uniform demand to secure the EU cohesion policy funding for common energy projects within the EU as well as to continue their concerted efforts to support the energy projects in the Energy Community countries within the framework of the EU external policy financial instruments. The proposals to this effect will be prepared by the established working groups.

  • Declare their willingness to provide support and joint efforts for a higher allocation of EU financial resources notably from the EU cohesion policy to all infrastructure projects aimed at increasing the energy security of the region.

  • Encourage closer cooperation of the energy companies of the region operating critical elements of the energy value chain to enhance synergies and energy supply security.

  • Intend to hold regular high level meetings in order to further discuss the ways of improving the energy security of their countries and the EU as well as to adopt the necessary measures which may help mitigate any possible disruption of supply in the future.

  • Have agreed to set up "ad hoc" working groups at expert level on different projects such as the North-South interconnections and other regional interconnectors, oil supply in the region, etc. The main task of the working groups should be to prepare concrete proposals for implementation and to better coordinate their cooperation in these fields, notably in the EU decision making process.

Budapest, February 24, 2010

[*] The Republic of Austria does not consider nuclear energy as a safe and sustainable energy source and is hence not in a position to support this paragraph.
[**] The Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Slovenia are also involved in the South Stream project which would enable them access to sources via an alternative route.

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