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European Commission Proposing to Increase Energy Community’s Budget

The European Commission is proposing to increase the budget of the Energy Community for the year 2016-2017 by 30 percent, Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said at the Celebration Ceremony of 10th Anniversary Energy Community in Vienna. His speech is published on the European Commission’s official website.

The Energy Community is an international organisation dealing with energy policy. The organisation was established by an international treaty in Oct 2005 in Athens, Greece. The Treaty entered into force in Jul 2006. The Treaty establishing the Energy Community brings together the European Union, on one hand, and countries from the South East Europe and Black Sea region.

The key aim of the organisation is to extend the EU internal energy market to South East Europe and beyond on the basis of a legally binding framework. In his speech Šefčovič noted that 10 years ago, the Energy Community was established in order to better cooperate and integrate the energy markets of the Balkan countries with each other and with their neighbouring EU Member States.

“Over time, the Energy Community has developed from a regional pre-accession tool to an eminent instrument for our joint security of supply, carrying further our cooperation in the field of energy. It has helped us to promote safe, secure and predictable production and transportation of energy in the closest EU neighbourhood.” Šefčovič said.

However, he said, the geo-political changes of the past years have obliged the Energy Community to adapt as well. “With the accession of Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia to the EU and the accession of Moldova and Ukraine to the Energy Community, the organisation’s nature has changed.

“The Community’s membership has become more diverse and there is a greater incentive for cooperation with the EU Member States,” he said adding that the Energy Community has matured. The key challenge of the day is the so called ‘holly triangle’: ensuring a secure supply of energy, which is competitive on the one hand and sustainable on the other, Šefčovič said.

“In order to achieve all this, and become strong partners for the EU Member States, the Energy Community needs to speak the same “language” as the EU in terms of how it operates its infrastructure and energy supply. In the future, this common “language” will consist – not only of the Third Package and ‘security of supply’ rules – but also on the third angle of the triangle, namely: common environmental standards,” he added.