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Vice-President of EC Sefcovic: Enhancing efficiency, best measure against energy scarcity


Energy efficiency is the best measure in the fight against energy scarcity and will lead to curbing energy bills as well as to protecting the environment, stated on Thursday Maros Sefcovic, Vice-President of the European Commission, present in Bucharest at the CESEC (Central and South Eastern Europe Gas Connectivity) meeting.

According to him, all our countries should learn how to use public budget money, from the European Union's budget, to add to sources from the private sector and to channel into energy efficiency investment projects.

Two years ago, when we set up the CESEC community, we engaged not to expect mega-projects but to take our energy destiny into our own hands and focus on inter-connection, market liquidity and having access to at least three gas sources for all the countries. I believe it is a very strong signal for this country's inhabitants who still recall what happened in 2009 (when Russia ceased gas deliveries to Europe mid-winter — ed.n.) and to prove that together we can beat the system's vulnerabilities, further said the EC's Vice-President.

In his turn, Miguel Arias Canete, the Energy European Commissioner, also present at the event, showed that on Thursday the parties will sign an Understanding Memorandum extending the cooperation area to the energy sector as well.

Today's meeting is crucial to CESEC as we will sign an Understanding Memorandum that will expand the cooperation area to the energy market, renewable sources and energy efficiency. It is not just a memorandum, it also contains palpable actions. The existence of an energy market in South-Eastern Europe involves coordinating network improvement projects and trading agreements with the most important EU member states in the region. The markets cannot develop in isolation. The market's functioning includes a regulatory common framework, the Energy Commissioner underscored.

At the same time, the Romanian relevant minister, Toma Petcu, explained in the opening of the Thursday's meeting that each country involved in the CESEC community stands to win.

In order to speed up the integration of gas market in Central and South-Eastern Europe and to diversify the natural gas supply sources, Romania, alongside Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary, initiated in February 2015 a working group titled CESEC (Central and South Eastern Europe Gas Connectivity Group). Six partner countries have joined this group since, namely Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia (FYROM), the Republic of Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine. The purpose of this group is to coordinate the efforts meant to promote the accomplishment of cross-border and trans-European projects that would lead diversify the sources of and supply routes with natural gas, as well as to harmonisation of rules' implementation that would facilitate these projects.