EC President Jose Manuel Barroso and the leaders of six EU member states in Eastern Europe including Bulgaria have agreed to set the start of the so called "North-South Gas Corridor." The new EU energy security initiative was formally approved by Barroso and six leaders of Eastern European states at a dinner at the EC headquarters in Brussels late Thrusday night.
The meeting was in the format "Visegrad+" (i.e. the Visegrad Four - Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary - plus Bulgaria and Romania), and was attended by Hungary PM Viktor Orban, Czech PM Petr Necas, Slovakia PM Iveta Radicova, Romanian President Traian Basescu, Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov, and Polish PM Donald Tusk.
The strategic concept behind the North-South natural gas interconnection first announced formally by EC President Barroso on January 31, 2011, is to link the energy systems in the area located among the Baltic Sea in the North, the Adriatic in the Southwest and the Black Sea in the Southeast, covering Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, as well as possibly Austria and EU hopeful Croatia.
Barroso's meeting in Brussels with the six Eastern EU leaders including Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov took place a day before the regular sitting of the European Council, scheduled for Friday. The sitting of EU's state leaders will tackle two main issues - energy and innovations. Policies regarding EU's Energy Strategy for 2020 are expected to be discussed, including the transition towards an effective low-carbon economy. The measures towards improving the Union's energy market, and more precisely the missing key energy connections, as well as the EU countries' more effective coordination in the external energy policy.