Mediterranean stakeholders look back at the past three years and discuss plans for the next phase at the UfM Gas Platform Conference in Brussels

Organised by the Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie (OME) with the support of the European Commission, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Gas Platform Conference, entitled Summing up of the activities in the 2017-2019 period and plans for the next phase, took place at the Cercle de Lorraine in Brussels, Belgium. The event reviewed the achievements of the platform over the last three years and the planned topics and activities to be covered during the 2020-2022 period. More than 30 delegates from institutions and the industry from both shores of the Mediterranean Sea contributed to the success of this gathering.

Opening the conference, Anne-Charlotte Bournoville, Head of Unit at the DG for Energy of the European Commission, acknowledged the important steps that have been made by the UfM Gas Platform since its launch in June 2015 and highlighted the major role of the platform as the “gathering place of reference” to strengthen regional dialogue and cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean gas sector. Houda Ben Jannet Allal, UfM Gas Platform Secretariat, Director General of the OME, gave an overview of the activities carried out over the past three years within the framework of the approved platform work programme.

During this first phase, activities of the UfM Gas platform were of four kinds: development of studies and ad hoc background documents; capacity-building through specific training sessions on gas-related matters; awareness raising and public outreach through different communication tools; and management of the platform and support activities. Between 2017 and 2019, the UfM Gas Platform Secretariat launched dedicated working groups (WGs) for all studies of the approved work programme, the UfM Gas Platform website as well as quarterly newsletters.

In the last two sessions, looking at next steps, delegates were first briefed on the role of gas in the decarbonisation of energy systems. And then a roundtable, moderated by Luca Giansanti, SVP – Head of European Government Affairs at ENI, discussed emerging trends and challenges in the gas industry and how they could be addressed during the next phase of the activities of the UfM Gas Platform. All future work of the gas platform will feed the new UfM Energy Ministerial Declaration planned in June 2021.