The primary objective of the Baltic energy market interconnection plan (BEMIP) High-Level Group is to achieve an open and integrated regional electricity and gas market between EU countries in the Baltic Sea region. The BEMIP members are Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Sweden. Norway participates as an observer.
Working groups and projects
Dedicated working groups on infrastructure, markets, gas and electricity, security of supply, synchronisation, renewables, offshore grids and energy efficiency, prepare specific measures, projects and studies necessary for achieving the initiative's objectives and targets.
As part of the BEMIP implementation, a number of cross-border and national infrastructure projects (projects of common interest) have been completed across the Baltics to improve their integration with the Nordic electricity market. The key electricity infrastructure projects, such as Estlink 1 and 2, Nordbalt and the LitPol Link, connecting the three Baltic States with Finland, Sweden and Poland respectively, significantly improved the Baltic countries' integration in the EU energy market, and their security of supply.
Further efforts are ongoing in the region to complete the synchronisation of the three Baltic States with European networks by February 2025, increase transmission capacity in the remote Nordic area, develop a regional gas market, work towards the decarbonisation of the gas systems in the region and make the most of the region's energy efficiency and renewable energy potential, both onshore and offshore.
Synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity grid with European networks
The three Baltic States' electricity grid still operates synchronously with the Russian and Belarusian systems. A dedicated BEMIP working group steers the work to achieve, by February 2025, the synchronisation of the Baltics' grid with the continental European network.
On 28 June 2018, the Heads of State or Government of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland together with EC President Juncker, endorsed the political roadmap for synchronising the Baltic States' electricity grid with the continental European network by the target date 2025. They met again, accompanied also by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, in Brussels on 20 June 2019 for the signature of the political roadmap taking stock of the progress and setting new milestones. On 3 August 2023, the prime-ministers of the three Baltic States agreed to bring the deadline for synchronisation forward to February 2025.
Offshore development in the Baltic Sea region
On 30 September 2020, the Energy Ministers for the 8 EU countries in the Baltic Sea region and Commissioner Kadri Simson signed a declaration committing themselves to closer cooperation on offshore wind in the Baltic Sea. On 28 October 2021, the BEMIP high-level group adopted a work programme for offshore wind development in the region thus operationalising the declaration and work started on the implementation of this programme. On 30 August 2022, at the Energy Security Summit held in Marienborg, Denmark, the European Union member states around the Baltic Sea agreed on improving their cooperation to strengthen the region’s energy security and increase the current wind energy capacity of the Baltic Sea sevenfold by 2030. This was followed by the establishment of non-binding offshore renewable energy sea-basin goals for 2050 with intermediary targets in 2030 and 2040 for the Baltic Sea region under the TEN-E Regulation.
Gas infrastructure projects
Thanks to the implementation of the trans-European energy policy (TEN-E policy), several key Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) have contributed to increasing the resilience of the gas grids in the Baltic Sea region in the past years. In this context of disruption of Russian gas supplies, these projects are extremely important to ensure security of gas supply and the ability to cope with the interruption of gas imports in the countries in the region, which are heavily relying on Russian gas imports.
The enhancement of the interconnection between Latvia and Estonia, the Balticconnector, the Klaipeda LNG Terminal, and the Świnoujście LNG Terminal have already ensured market integration and decreased dependence on Russian gas in a region historically dependent on a single supplier. The situation has further improved with the recent launch of the interconnector between Poland and Lithuania (GIPL), the enhancement of the interconnection between Lithuania and Latvia and the Baltic Pipe, bringing for the first time gas from the Northern Seas to the region through Poland. Further flexibility will become available at the same time with the imminent completion of the expansion of the Świnoujście LNG Terminal, and the completion of the enhancement of the Inčukalns UGS. The link between the Baltic Sea region and Central-Eastern Europe has been completed in 2022 with the interconnection between Poland and Slovakia. The region has also benefited to the greatest extent from grants from the Connecting Europe Facility for Energy.
Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania agreed on 20 April 2020 to establish a process for the future regional gas market integration of their respective countries. It will be the first four-country wide cross-border gas market merger in the EU, which will help to upscale the production of renewable and decarbonised gases in the region.
BEMIP Memorandum of Understanding
The first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the BEMIP initiative was signed on 17 June 2009 and focused on electricity and gas markets, infrastructure and power generation.
On 8 June 2015, a new MoU was signed extending the initiative's scope to security of supply, energy efficiency, renewable energy and the integration of the Baltic States' electricity network into the continental European network, including their synchronous operation.
The priorities under BEMIP high level group are implemented in a coordinated approach through a comprehensive set of measures captured in dedicated action plans. The first BEMIP action plan was agreed in June 2009 and amended in March 2011 (West Baltic Task Force Action Plan) and in March 2013 (Roadmap for the Implementation of Natural Gas Projects in the Eastern Baltic Sea). A new BEMIP action plan was adopted in 2015. Achievements under BEMIP, as well as recent developments in the energy sector, including the revision of the European macro-regional strategies, the new EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework, the updated energy and climate targets for 2030 in accordance with the Climate Target Plan called for a the adoption of a revised action plan.
- News: Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania agree to synchronise their electricity grids with the European grid by early 2025 (03 August 2023)
- Studies: Baltic offshore wind energy cooperation under BEMIP (2019), Integration of the Baltic States into the EU electricity system (2017), LNG infrastructure in the East-Baltic area (2012)
- EbS video: Signing ceremony of the political roadmap (28 June 2018)
- News: Synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity grid with the continental European system (14 September 2018)
- Press release: Synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity network (Press release, 28 June 2018)
- Joint Statement: Synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity network (Joint statement, 22 March 2018)
- PCI examples and their benefits
- Baltic offshore wind work programme