VILNIUS - The European Commission will begin reviewing theEU's 2007-2013 budget and, starting next year, increase the funding forprojects aimed at accelerating economic progress, ensuring more energy securityand stability of the energy supply.
The EU approved a proposal from the EU Budget Commissioner DaliaGrybauskaite to revise the structure of the 2007-2013 financial perspective andallocate an additional 5 billion euros for energy connections in 2009 and 2010.
"The financing of energy connections is a necessity and a realisticprecondition for enhancing the energy security of Lithuania and other Baltic countries and their independence,"Grybauskaite said in a press release.
The budget commissioner said that the integration of the Baltic energy marketsinto the EU's common energy system was a top priority for the EuropeanCommission.
A Baltic energy links plan, which has been drawn up recently, is one of thefirst of the Commission's six top energy strategy priorities.
"Today's decision translates the political priority into concretefinancial terms and lays down a financial framework for the idea of energysecurity," Grybauskaite said.
The most advanced projects in the area of information society developmentwill be also eligible to funding under this financial package, the EuropeanCommission said.