On December 19th, the European Commission and representatives of the governments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland signed a Political Declaration confirming their commitment to proceed at full speed to connect the electricity networks of the three Baltic States with continental Europe, via Poland, by February 2025. This is almost a year earlier than the previous deadline of end of 2025.
The three Baltic States are the last remaining EU Member States with electricity networks that are still synchronised with Russia and Belarus. Their synchronisation is a strategic project of common interest. Over the past 12 years, it has received significant political, technical, and financial EU support exceeding EUR 1.2 bn worth of grants.
Under the political declaration, the Member States concerned also committed to speeding up the development of the ‘Harmony Link Interconnector’, one of the most significant energy infrastructure projects between Lithuania and Poland.
Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said: ‘We are approaching the historic moment of full integration of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into our internal electricity market, to be achieved with the synchronisation of Baltic and Continental European power grids by February 2025. The war in Ukraine, Russia’s shameless manipulation of EU energy markets and the subsequent energy crisis have underlined the importance of energy independence. This synchronisation project will enable the three Baltic States to gain full control of their electricity networks, and reinforce energy security in the region. Today’s joint political declaration with the Baltic States and Poland will guarantee the delivery of the final stages of the project. Most notably, we have endorsed an alternative onshore design of the Harmony Link interconnector, adding security and resilience to the grid, while avoiding cost over-runs and delays in buildout. Today’s declaration confirms our solidarity at a time when war continues to rage on Europe’s borders.’
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Commission signed on 18 June 2018 and on 20 June 2019 political roadmaps on the synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity networks with the Central European Network via Poland. These have facilitated significant progress with the synchronisation in recent years.
The date for synchronisation has been brought to February 2025, from the initially set date of end of 2025, in agreements between the Baltic transmission system operators and their prime ministers in August 2023.
The Baltic synchronisation project has received grants of over EUR 1.23 billion from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility for Energy. It includes around EUR 500 million from the previous long-term EU budget (Multiannual Financial Framework) covering 2014-2020 for the Harmony Link Interconnector between Lithuania and Poland.
Source: European Commission