The 20th Ministerial Council meeting of the Energy Community, held in Vienna today, has reached agreement on a number of important issues which will further enhance energy cooperation between the EU, the Western Balkans and the three Eastern Partners – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Crucially, the Contracting Parties agreed on an ambitious renewable energy target of 31% for 2030, as well as energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions targets.
At the Ministerial meeting today, the Parties also agreed to implement the EU electricity market rules. Once this is achieved, they will be able to fully access the EU electricity markets, and therefore to freely trade electricity with the EU. Member countries also agreed on strengthened compliance and enforcement of agreed energy rules. The meeting was chaired by Yaroslav Demchenkov, Deputy Energy Minister of Ukraine, which currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Energy Community.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said:
“I strongly welcome the outcomes of our meeting today, as it underlines the importance of our cooperation on energy issues in the short, medium and long-term. I am particularly pleased with the agreement on the renewables target for 2030 and to implement the EU electricity market rules. This will be a driving force for investment in Energy Community countries in the years to come.”
The Ministers further held extensive discussions of the energy market situation, reiterating their strong condemnation of the war in Ukraine and Russia’s weaponisation of its energy exports. Ministers expressed solidarity with Ukraine, in particular in the face of the ongoing attacks on critical energy infrastructure, which also have an impact on Moldova. In this context, the Commission welcomes the call from the Ministers of the Energy Community members to follow EU energy sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus.
During today’s discussions, the Commission recalled that Energy Community countries will be eligible to participate in the upcoming joint gas purchasing platform that the EU is in the process of establishing.
The Energy Community is an international organisation consisting of the EU, represented by the European Commission, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the Republic of North Macedonia and Kosovo*. Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine are known as the contracting parties. In broad terms, the Energy Community aims to extend the EU’s internal energy market to South-Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region.
*As defined under UN resolution 1244.