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Gas infrastructure - the enabler of the European low-carbon energy future


09 Jun 2016


Sustainable Dev.

Opening the GIE Annual Conference 2016 today in Sofia, Jean-Marc Leroy, President of Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), reiterated the commitment of GIE to achieving the fully integrated European energy market. He also stated that gas infrastructure will continue to provide innovative and decentralized solutions to support the European energy transition.

As many as 400 delegates from all over Europe met at the fourteenth edition of the GIE Annual Conference, gathering the industry, policymakers, regulators, academics, press and other stakeholders. This year’s conference addresses major issues – the delivery of the Energy Union, the completion of the energy market and the future energy system.

The conference had the honour to hear keynote speeches by the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borissov, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič, the Former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek, and the Executive Director of Bulgartransgaz, the host of the conference, Georgi Gegov.

The first day of the conference starts with a focus on Central and South-Eastern Europe. It will feature a debate moderated by Temenuzhka Petkova, Bulgarian Minister of Energy, with Energy Ministries on how regional cooperation can foster security of supply, market development and investment. The second day will be dedicated to the implementation of the internal gas market and the long-term outlook for the future energy system.

In his opening address, Jean-Marc Leroy indicated that infrastructure operators can shape the energy future in Europe. He stated that: “The energy future will be driven by decarbonisation and decentralization and will be underpinned by the objectives of energy efficiency and security of supply." He also added that "GIE has been always fully committed to achieving the single and well-functioning energy market through a continuous dialogue with policymakers, regulators and other stakeholders.”

The COP21 climate agreement of last December will give an altogether new global impetus for the transition towards a low-carbon economy. “For Europe, this means that decarbonisation will have to take place faster and stronger”, said Jean-Marc Leroy.

The GIE President stresses also that there are real opportunities for gas and gas infrastructure sector: “Natural gas is not only the cleanest fossil fuel but it is also a high-scale resource facilitating integration of renewable energy sources. Gas industry is responsible for showing to the general public that we are committed to the changing role of gas in the energy system. This makes gas an extremely powerful instrument to tackle climate change”.

This year's GIE Annual Conference will also focus on the further development of interconnections, which are of particular importance for enhanced security of supply and on innovation which will be the accelerator of the energy transition.

For more information about the conference and real-time information, please visit and/or follow us on Twitter (@GIEBrussels, #GIESofia2016).

Note to Editors

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is an association representing the interests of European natural gas infrastructure operators active in natural gas transmission, storage and LNG regasification. GIE is a trusted partner of European institutions, regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders. It is based in Brussels, the heart of European policymaking.

GIE currently represents 68 member companies from 24 countries. Its internal structure has three columns corresponding to the three types of infrastructure activities represented: GTE (Gas Transmission Europe), GSE (Gas Storage Europe) and GLE (Gas LNG Europe), all of which fall under the umbrella of GIE. This structure allows member companies to speak with one voice on infrastructure topics as well as to build positions on column-specific issues.

To find out more about GIE’s structure and activities, please visit our website at

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