The Leaders called for swift completion of the project.
Today at a special ceremony in Brussels the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker,together with the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, the Prime Minister of Estonia Jüri Ratas, the Prime Minister of Latvia Māris Kučinskis and the Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki, has signed the Political Roadmap on the synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity networks with the continental European network. This follows the meeting on 22 March 2018, where President Juncker and the same Leaders gave the synchronisation project a renewed impetus.
President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Since the beginning of our mandate my Commission has been committed to have full integration of the Baltic States grids with the rest of Europe. It is our duty and a question of necessity for the Baltic States and for the Union. We have worked to build consensus, and have now signed such consensus. In this Roadmap we set the target date of 2025 for the full synchronisation. When people are in sync, things work out well. Today we are witnessing a project where we decided to work together and in sync towards a common goal. With patience, hard work and a spirit of compromise we managed to find European solutions that are built on solidarity and strengthen our Union."
The Heads of State or Government thanked all involved for the speedy progress of the preparatory work, conducted by Ministers of Energy of the respective countries in cooperation with Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete. Leaders also reiterated that in order for the project to be successful, the support from Connecting Europe Facility funds will be crucial.
The Political Roadmap signed today sets the scene for the practical implementation by presenting a clear timetable of actions. The first of such action is the launch, this September, of the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) procedure as a first technical step for extending the Continental European Network to the Baltic States. This project is a cornerstone and one of the most emblematic projects of the Energy Union and a concrete expression of solidarity in energy security. The synchronisation process is crucial to complete the integration of the Baltic States with the European energy system. It will constitute a major contribution to the unity and energy security of the European Union.
The Political Roadmapendorsed today defines the process and puts forward a concrete solution for synchronising the Baltic States' electricity system with the continental European Network by the target date of 2025. Under the Roadmap, upon the green light from the high-level group on Baltic Energy Market Integration Plan in September 2018, the Polish and Baltic States' Transmission System Operators (TSOs) will launch a formal procedure that will be managed by the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E).
Whilst formerly an "energy island", the Baltic States region is now connected with European partners through recently established electricity lines with Poland (LitPol Link), Sweden (NordBalt) and Finland (Estlink 1 and Estlink 2). These projects were made possible and built with EU support. For historical reasons, however, the Baltic States' electricity grid is still operated in a synchronous mode with the Russian and Belarusian systems.
The desynchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity grid from these systems and the synchronisation with the continental European network (CEN) is an essential political priority for the achievement of the Energy Union. The relevant grid reinforcements have been included in the third EU list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) adopted by the Commission on 23 November 2017. PCI are intended to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives: affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all citizens. Projects on the PCI list are also eligible to receive Connecting Europe Facility-Energy funding.
The European Commission is committed to facilitate decisive progress on the synchronisation and support the Baltic States in this mandate, working towards implementing strategic energy infrastructure projects and addressing the various aspects required to end the energy isolation of the Baltic Sea region. This goal was once again stated by the European Commission on 23 November 2017 in its Communication "on strengthening Europe's energy networks".
Joint Statement of 22 March 2018 by the Heads of State and Government of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the President of the European Commission on Baltic Synchronisation
EU invests in Baltic synchronisation project (18 April)
JRC study: Integration of the Baltic States into the EU electricity system (executive summary)