Tuesday

26th Mar 2019

Opinion

Energy Community - a role model for EU integration

The Energy Community Treaty entered into force more than four years ago with the aim to create a stable regulatory and market framework that will include countries from Central and South-Eastern Europe into the single energy market of the European Union.

With the creation of the regional market and implementation of the EU acquis, the countries of the region will be able to attract investments in power generation and infrastructure in order to ensure stable energy supply that will contribute to further economic development and social stability in the region.

How does it operate?

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Macedonia was the community presidency last year (Photo: Boris Grdanoski)

The Energy Community is designed in the way that leadership is jointly by European Commission and member countries. This increases the commitment of member countries for co-operation in achieving the above mentioned goal. Following this principle, the Republic of Macedonia acting as a presidency of the Energy Community in 2010, focused on achieving the priorities of the Energy Community. This year, with the enlargement to Moldova and Ukraine, the Energy Community has shown that its goals are pan-European and bigger than the borders of the Western Balkans. Negotiations with other observer countries, under the leadership of the European Commission, have continued in the right directions, and another country, Armenia, has officially applied to become an observer country to the Energy Community Treaty. This shows that the Energy Community has become a good example for regional co-operation on energy matters.

Regional initiatives ...

The regional initiatives that are being undertaken further emphasise regional co-operation in development of the regional market as concrete means of promoting the security of supply. One project of this kind is certainly the project for establishment of the Co-ordinated Auction Office, with the final goal of having efficient management of the cross border transmission networks that will contribute to faster development of regional market and will attract investments in generation. Another activity is the Energy Community Gas Ring Concept. It would foster regional co-operation, increase security of supply and efficient operation of the networks. Further, at the Ministerial Council, last November in Skopje, contracting parties decided to prepare a Regional strategy in order to have a co-ordinated energy development within the Energy Community.

Other areas of co-operation are renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. The potentials for utilization of renewable energy sources has been analysed during the past two years and shows hat this region can achieve 20 percent target set in 2020 as an EU policy. In this respect, the recommendation of the last Ministerial Council held in Skopje will become an obligation for the Energy Community. Possibilities for energy savings and proper use of energy in the contracting parties have been also recognised in the transport sector, construction, industrial and residential sectors. All these activities are being supported by different task forces on an expert level.

Commitments and Challenges

Contracting parties have reiterated their European integration aspirations by aligning the national legislation with EU standards continuously in order to achieve competitiveness, sustainability and environmentally-friendly energy systems. However, the process is not easy. The region has been faced with important efforts undertaken in terms of legislative work, administrative capacity and resources. At the same time, the political and social perception is something that policy makers have to take care for.

Contracting parties are facing many challenges. Further opening of the markets and enforcement of the implementation of the relevant EU standards is something that is expected to be done. Modernization of the existing infrastructure and attracting investments in new infrastructure are one of the goals of the community. There is great potential for energy generation from different sources and possibilities for development of projects that will contribute to the region in general and will additionally strengthen the cooperation between the countries on the institutional level.

A Model of Success?

The importance of co-operation in this region in different fields of mutual interest, especially in the field of energy is evident. Energy Community is a success in itself and an example for development of regional initiatives in different sectors. It is not only about energy but Energy Community is active in many other policy areas related to climate changes and social aspects in order to decrease energy poverty. Although, it has shown progress in harmonization of the legislation and declarative support for regional initiatives, this should go a step forward towards implementation of the legislation and acting in compliance with regional initiatives in order to be successful.

The Energy Community represents a role model how can successfully combined efforts of the European Union and aspirant countries for integration, namely promoting successful stories of EU integration as a participatory and inclusive process.

As Presidency, the Republic of Macedonia contributed to achieving the priorities set for 2010. It acted as an active promoter and supporter of the Energy Community and its work on the energy agenda showed substantial results. Co-operation in the energy field and creating a common energy market from very small local markets will increase the security of supply which will further contribute to economic development as a finial goal to improving the living standards of the people of the region.

Fatmir Besimi, Minister of Economy, Republic of Macedonia

Europe before the elections - heading back to the past?

Ahead of the European Parliament election in May, the bloc is ideologically split between authoritarians seeking to reduce its sway, and those seeking a moderate track. In essence, voters have to decide if they want to move forwards or backwards.

Russia and money laundering in Europe

After Danske Bank, both the US and the EU need to abandon the principle in bank regulation that it is all right to be a crook as long as you are big.

Macron is confusing rigidity with strength

Jan Zahradil, EU Commission president Spitzenkandidat for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, responds to Emmaneul Macron's European vision ahead of the May elections.

A compromise proposal for the Article 50 extension

At this week's summit, EU leaders should extend Article 50 until the May European elections. But they should postpone the effective date of the UK's withdrawal from EU rights, rules, and regulations for another year - to May 2020.

Catalan independence trial is widening Spain's divides

What is really needed is not the theatre of a rebellion trial, but a forensic examination of whether public funds were misused, and a process of dialogue and negotiation on how the Catalan peoples' right to self-determination can be satisfied.

My plan for defending rule of law in EU

EPP leader and prospective next EU Commission president Manfred Weber spells out his plan for dealing with recalcitrant EU member states - ahead of Wednesday's EPP meeting on the vexed issue of Hungary's Viktor Orban and Fidesz.

News in Brief

  1. EU tables plan for joint approach to 5G security
  2. MEPs agree to scrap summer time clock changes by 2021
  3. European Parliament votes on reform of copyright
  4. New French-German parliament meets for first time
  5. EU parliament reduces polling ahead of elections
  6. UK parliament votes to take control of Brexit process
  7. EU publishes no-deal Brexit contingency plans
  8. EU urges Israel and Gaza to re-establish calm

Italy should capitalise on Brexit

Now that the UK is leaving, Italy can, and should, step up. It is the third largest country and economy in the EU. Spain and Poland follow, but they are significantly smaller economically and population-wise.

The Magnitsky Act - and its name

It is disappointing that so many MEPs in the Socialist and Green group caved in to Russian interests, in fear of challenging a plutocratic regime, by saying 'no' to naming the Magnitsky legislation by its rightful name: Magnitsky.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Latest News

  1. EU lawmakers pass contentious copyright law
  2. France takes Chinese billions despite EU concerns
  3. Europe before the elections - heading back to the past?
  4. Romania presidency shatters EU line on Jerusalem
  5. The Spitzen process - a coup that was never accepted
  6. Russia and money laundering in Europe
  7. Italy takes China's new Silk Road to the heart of Europe
  8. What EU leaders agreed on climate - and what they mean

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  2. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  4. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  6. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  7. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us