Wednesday

22nd Feb 2017

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?

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • 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

Column / Crude World

Nordstream 2: Alternative pipeline facts

Arguments put forward by Nord Stream 2's Brussels lobbyist in defence of the Russian-led project are not consistent and ignore some basic facts.

The need for global cooperation in stopping Iran

Although Trump said he would tear up the Iran Nuclear Agreement, the new administration seems to want to work on a new policy toward Iran. Let's hope European leaders will respond in kind to this approach.

A bold call for traineeship equality

The EU ombudsman's slapdown of the EU diplomatic service's unpaid internship programs offers a glimmer of hope to a future of paid internships in Europe.

Africa is our destiny

U2's Bono writes that Africa should be at the centre of political leader's thoughts at the latest G20 foreign minister's summit and the Munich security conference this coming week.

News in Brief

  1. Romanian parliament buries controversial corruption decree
  2. Dozens drown off Libyan coast
  3. EU ministers approve anti-tax avoidance directive
  4. Poland rejects EU criticism of court changes
  5. German nationalist leader met with Putin allies in Moscow
  6. German housing market overheated, says Bundesbank
  7. France invites three EU leaders for Versailles summit in March
  8. Greece agrees on new bailout reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  2. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  3. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  4. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  5. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  8. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  9. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year
  10. Centre Maurits CoppietersThe Situation of Refugee Women in Europe
  11. Salzburg Global SeminarToward a Shared Culture of Health: Charting the Patient-Clinician Relationship
  12. European Free AllianceAustria Should Preserve & Promote Bilingual and Multinational Carinthia

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Martens CentreShow Your Love for Democracy! Take Part in Our Contest: "If It's Broken, Let's Fix It"
  2. CISPECloud Computing Leaders Establish Data Protection Standards to Protect Customer Data
  3. Malta EU 2017Landmark Deal Reached With European Parliament on Portability of Online Content
  4. Belgrade Security ForumBSF 2017: Building a Common Future in the Age of Uncertainty
  5. CESIEU Not to Revise the Working Time Directive
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsAzerbaijan: 76 NGOs Urge the EU to Use President's Visit to Insist on Human Rights Reforms
  7. UNICEFDeadliest Winter for Migrant Children Crossing the Central Mediterranean
  8. World VisionGaza Staff Member Pleads Not Guilty
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region First to Consider Complete Ban on Microplastics in Cosmetics
  10. Dialogue PlatformWhy the West 'Failed to Understand' Turkey
  11. European Jewish CongressInternational Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony
  12. European Free AllianceCatalan Independence Referendum: A Matter of Democracy