At the 9th Central European Energy Conference organised on 23 November in Bratislava, Minister of State for Energy András Aradszki emphasised that issues of security of energy supply and affordable energy prices have to be handled as primary objectives in the implementation of the Energy Union’s strategy, and these criteria have to be fulfilled simultaneously.

The Minister of State also stressed the need for additional implementation of Central European natural gas-based infrastructure developments, which open the way to new sources of natural gas in addition to linking the public systems, thus creating competition between them. He explained: in implementing the Energy Union the right amount of attention has to be paid to the existing regional and country-specific differences. The governance of the Energy Union should be based on respect for well-functioning regional cooperation mechanisms, as well as for the right of sovereignty of the Member States and the right to independently determine the national energy mix.

Mr. Aradszki also stated that Hungary has 50 per cent connectivity to electric power systems of neighbouring countries and is thus already outperforming the 10 % EU target for 2020. It is in the interest of Hungary that the Energy Union reduce the dependence on one supplier, and enhance competition with the diversification of sources and routes, thus ensuring affordable energy prices for households and businesses. The goals of the community can be achieved, infrastructure developments can be implemented, appropriate market conditions can be created and factors blocking access to networks and markets can be eliminated with coordinated regional solutions – the Secretary of State emphasised.

Mr. Aradszki highlighted the importance of regional cooperation, in particular the Visegrád Four (V4) partnerships, and he also praised the work of the Czech Presidency. Cooperation based on solidarity and infrastructure development promote the stability of end-user prices, the competition between the suppliers’ prices, diversification of energy sources and routes, overall the strengthening of the security of the energy supply – he said.

The project list reflecting Central European developmental needs and of European priority interest (PCI) was possible to be created partially due to the result of the cooperation of the V4 countries. The Secretary of State highlighted projects for establishing the North-South Gas Corridor, which enables the transport of natural gas – including LNG (liquefied natural gas) – from North (Baltic Sea) to South (Adriatic sea). Hungary greatly contributed to the functioning of the gas corridor ensuring the security of the gas supply of the Central European region, since the Hungarian-Slovak cross-border natural gas pipeline started its commercial operation in July this year. The Hungarian party made considerable efforts in making the Hungarian-Croatian connecting pipeline bidirectional – András Aradszki concluded.

President of the Slovak Republic Andrej Kiska and Commissioner responsible for the Energy Union and Vice President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič, among others participated in the three-day Central European Energy Conference organised by the Czech V4 Presidency.

(Ministry of National Development)