CSE European Gas Connectivity

Most countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe have limited gas source diversity due to historical lock-in to long-term supply contracts from a single supplier and missing interconnections or alternative sources. Effective regional cooperation has been recognized as key to achieving the region’s energy policy objectives and addressing challenges that EU Member States and Contracting Parties face in the gas sector. Therefore a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 10 July 2015 as part of the Central and South-Eastern European Gas Connectivity (CESEC) initiative. It sketches a joint approach to address the natural gas diversification and security of supply challenges.

Two years later the CESEC initiative's scope of work was expanded to include 'a joint approach on electricity market, energy efficiency and renewable development as well as the concrete actions formulated to promote cost-effective renewable energy, energy efficiency and to achieve an efficient, well interconnected electricity market in the CESEC region and promoting growth, jobs investment and tackling energy poverty'. In the area of electricity the aim is to make rapid progress in the implementation of the five priority electricity market coupling projects between EU Member States and Energy Community Contracting Parties as well as the six priority electricity lines. The realisation of these projects would bring about a more integrated, larger and interconnected regional electricity market, in line with the common acquis of the EU and the Energy Community.

In parallel the Secretariat drafted ”Energy Community Gas Action 2020” which aims at providing a close-up of reform measures to be undertaken by the Contracting Parties and on their interfaces with Member States in order to reach the obligations of the CESEC 2.0 Action Plan.

  • CESEC Action Plan

    CESEC Action Plan

    The signatory countries expressed their commitment to jointly resolve challenges related to security of gas supply and promote source diversification by implementing coordinated measures that should enable regionally optimal results. They expressed their readiness to sustain the necessary political commitment to oversee the full and timely implementation of the CESEC Action Plan 2.0, which includes the following elements:

    Selecting a limited number of key projects benefitting the CESEC region;

    • Identifying and addressing project-specific challenges;
    • Financing aspects, including the role of the EIB and the EBRD;
    • Addressing market integration challenges.

    Action Plan 2.0 essentially consists of a list of specific regulatory actions that are linked primarily to fully and effectively implementing harmonized EU rules in the natural gas sector as well as the over-arching the Third Energy Package provisions. Whilst the list for the EU Member State is displayed in appendix 1, there is a separate list (appendix 2) for the Contracting Parties aiming at full and effective implementation of the CESEC MoU and Energy Community gas acquis.

    A year later, a follow up Action Plan 2.1. was adopted. Whilst taking stock of the action completed, the Action Plan 2.1 concludes that complete implementation of the Action Plan 2.0 still requires serious efforts. Moreover, particular attention has been given to the complex task of creating the foundations of modern EU entry-exit gas systems and to implementing harmonized EU gas market rules (network codes). Action Plan 2.1 also aims to improve the gas trading environment in the region.

  • CESEC gas infrastructure projects

    CESEC gas infrastructure projects

    As regards the key CESEC projects, the Secretariat focuses on the interconnector Bulgaria - Serbia, as one of only two CESEC priority projects where a Contracting Party is involved. While the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is also labelled as a CESEC priority project, it has been considered as “decided” on the basis of existing transport and supply contracts. The TAP’s progress is well on track, thus the decision was made not to conduct additional activities within the CESEC process, i.e. a dedicated project implementation group was not established.

  • CESEC monitoring reports

    CESEC monitoring reports

    Together with the ACER and the European Commission, the Secretariat was invited to closely monitor the implementation of the Action Plan on a regular basis by using all available tools and institutions foreseen by the EU acquis. It supports the Contracting Parties in their implementation of the Action Plan, with a particular emphasis on addressing the market integration barriers and requirements. It prepared a list of concrete actions (CESEC Action Plan 2.0, appendix 2), necessary for achieving the CESEC market integration objectives. 

    As part of its monitoring tasks assigned under the CESEC MoU, the Secretariat publishes reports that take stock of the progress achieved. It published its first set of reports on 18 December 2015.

  • Gas Action 2020

    Energy Community Gas Action 2020

    “Energy Community Gas Action 2020” spells out the Secretariat's concept for actions needed for establishment of truly functioning gas markets in the Energy Community and enabling a pan-European gas market integration. Having this objective in mind, the “Energy Community Gas Action 2020” is prepared in a way that provides a concerted effort towards infrastructure and market development as well as security of supply, recognizing the link between them: while gas market integration relies on interconnecting infrastructure, the latter requires functioning market structures as a precondition for efficient and cost recovering usage. Both are indispensable for securing seamless supplies to customers.

    The concept centers on three distinct instruments:

    • Legal: full and effective implementation of the acquis remains a prerequisite for improving gas market development, among which unbundling of gas transmission system operators (TSOs) is pivotal for market functioning. Also, new legislative acts and arrangements (especially network codes) are needed to enable gas market integration in the Energy Community Title III Region.
    • Market: inclusion of new acquis is less the issue, but rather reaching the imminent market targets. Related achievements will have to rely on close consultation with the stakeholders of the Energy Community Title III Region and specifically the national regulators and TSOs. The Secretariat in this context builds on a related ad-hoc working group (since 2016) to back-up discussions on implementation of network codes.
    • Infrastructure:  the concept identifies twelve infrastructure project plans as an integral part of the “Energy Community Gas Action”. The Secretariat's role is to act as as facilitator between the region's  transmission system operators and regulators in possible discussions needed to construct  gas interconnector between the neighbouring transmission systems. 
  • Implementation report on Regulation 2015/703

    Implementation report on Regulation 2015/703

    Regulation (EC) 2015/703 establishing a network code on interoperability and data exchange rules is part of a set of technical rules – the so-called ‘network codes’ or ‘guidelines’ – that specify detailed standards for gas transmission cross-border flows such as capacity allocation, tariffication, congestion management and balancing. Regulation 2015/703 was incorporated into the Energy acquis by Decision 2018/02/PHLG-EnC, which set a deadline of 1 October 2018 for the transposition and implementation of the interoperability network code. It poses the Secretariat a reporting obligation (Article 25(1)). Six months after the expiry of the deadline, the Secretariat is to monitor and analyse how transmission system operators have implemented Chapters II to V of the Regulation. The Secretariat published and submitted the report to the Permanent High Level Group on 29 March 2019.