Baku, September 22, AZERTAC
European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson opened the 2022 annual PCI Energy Days, an important policy conference organized by the European Commission dedicated to the implementation of EU “projects of common interest” (PCIs) including the Southern Gas Corridor.
In her opening address, Commissioner Simson referred to PCIs like the Southern Gas Corridor as bringing “security of supply” to the EU. She also underlined how connected energy is to geopolitics.
Integral to the EU’s efforts has been its strategic energy partnership with Azerbaijan. The Southern Gas Corridor supplies Azerbaijani gas to Georgia, Turkiye, and EU member states Bulgaria, Greece, and Italy. Plans are underway to double the amount of Azerbaijani gas supplied to the EU in five years’ time, as agreed in July 2022 by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
The PCI Energy Days conference is taking place on 19-20 September 2022. An important highlight of the first day of the conference was a high-level panel focusing on how to ensure the security of Europe’s natural gas supply in the future.
Attending in an expert capacity was Professor Damjan Krnjević Mišković, Director for Policy Research, Analysis, and Publications of the Institute for Development and Diplomacy at ADA University. The professor, who is a former senior UN and Serbian official, underlined that “the Southern Gas Corridor was an excellent achievement of the EU’s infrastructure policy and its diversification aims. It is in the EU’s interest to continue to support the expansion of SGC in general, and the doubling of TAP’s capacity, in particular, in a political, technical, and financial sense as much as possible.”
Responding to questions, Professor Krnjević stated that “Azerbaijan clearly has sufficient resources to double natural gas exports to the EU in the next five years. Supply will not be a problem. Azerbaijan would not have signed the July 2022 MoU if there was evidentiary doubt that it would not be able to double its delivery of gas to the EU by 2027.”
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