(Evropská komise)
European Union  |  December 17, 2022 09:56:08, updated

Statement by President von der Leyen at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding for the development of the Black Sea Energy submarine cable

Mr President, dear Klaus,

Thank you very much for welcoming all of us to Bucharest.

I am very glad to be here for this important day, together with the leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Hungary. This agreement will bring the European Union closer to our partners in the South Caucasus region, and it will help both our regions achieve the clean energy transition. Since the beginning of Russia's war, we have decided to turn our back on Russian fossil fuels and to diversify towards reliable energy partners, like the partners here around the table. And it is working. The European Union has been able to compensate the cuts in Russian pipeline gas.

But this is not just about handling a new geopolitical energy situation. It is also about grounding our future in clean, affordable and secure energy sources. And these are the renewables. The renewables are not only good for our planet, but they are also home-grown, create good jobs at home, independence and security of energy supply. And I am very glad that our agreement puts so much emphasis on the renewable energies.

To integrate a growing share of renewables, we indeed need stronger electricity interconnections. And this is why the Black Sea electric cable between Romania, Georgia and Azerbaijan is so important. And I can only say: What an ambitious project. It would connect us on both sides of the Black Sea and run further towards the Caspian Sea region – both for digital communication and for energy. It will help reinforce our security of supply by bringing electricity from renewable sources to the European Union, via Romania and through Hungary.

The Black Sea electric cable is a new transmission route full of opportunities. This project could bring Georgia, a country with a European destiny, great benefits as well. It could transform the country into an electricity hub and integrate it in the EU internal electricity market. Finally, the Black Sea electric cable could also help bring electricity to our neighbours in Moldova and the Western Balkans, and of course to Ukraine – it will help start rebuilding Ukraine's energy system and the reconstruction of the country.

So as you can see, the project holds a lot of promises. Now it is up to us to deliver on security of energy supply and on decarbonising our economies. This is why I very much look forward to the results of the feasibility study that is currently ongoing. We will be ready to support. Because we now have the possibility to support financially projects of mutual interest with our neighbouring countries. And the mutual interest is very clear and evident. Today, we can say that the two shores of the Black Sea have never been closer.

Finally, allow me a word of ‘thank you' to our Romanian hosts. Thank you very much for making this possible today. It is a please to be here.

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