Energy Union diplomacy: EU and Turkey strengthen energy ties

On 28 January 2016, the EU and Turkey held a high-level dialogue on energy in Istanbul. The delegation from the European Commission was led by the Climate action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete. Discussions focused on integrating the Turkish energy market with the EU, energy efficiency and renewables, climate change and a follow-up on the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, gas markets and interconnections, the development of the Southern Gas Corridor, and the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP) which is part of the Southern Gas Corridor – Turkey is a key transit country for these gas routes to the EU. Talks also covered electricity markets and interconnections, nuclear safety,  and regional cooperation and integration in the Energy Community and Euro-Mediterranean cooperation on energy. EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Given its strategic location as a transit country in the region, Turkey is a key partner for Europe’s energy security and diversification. With the launch of the High-Level Energy Dialogue, Turkey and the EU are injecting renewed political momentum to our energy cooperation. This will lead to concrete actions and projects to our mutual benefit.” In particular the Southern Gas Corridor will help many countries in Central and South East Europe to diversify their sources of gas, boosting their energy security. It will expand the infrastructure that can bring gas to the EU from the Caspian Basin, Central Asia, the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. When the route opens in 2019/2020, it will allow around 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas to flow along the route, possibly rising to 80-100 bcm in the long term. In this way, the Southern Gas Corridor has the potential to meet up to 20% of the EU’s gas needs. For more information, read the Joint Press Statement after the ‘Turkey – EU High Level Energy Dialogue’ Meeting.