The Energy Community is an international organisation containing the EU, represented by the European Commission, and the countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo (in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence), Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine - these countries are known as the 'contracting parties'. It aims to extend the EU's internal energy market to South Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region.
Specific goals include:
- attracting investment in power generation and energy networks to ensure stable and continuous supply
- creating an integrated energy market that allows for cross border trading, including building new infrastructure when necessary
- enhancing security of supply by making it easier for countries to trade energy with other
- improving the environmental situation in relation to energy
- boosting competition at regional level to exploit economies of scale
The Energy Community Treaty was signed in 2006 and is valid until 2016.
Its activities – which cover gas, electricity, security of supply, renewable energy, oil, energy efficiency, environment and competition - are 94.5% financed by the EU budget. Armenia, Georgia, Norway, and Turkey act as observers to the treaty. In 2014, the European Commission launched official talks on full membership with Georgia.
Western Balkans Electricity Roadmap and Sustainability Charter
The Western Balkan 6 countries and a number of EU countries agreed on a 'Roadmap for a regional electricity market for the Western Balkan 6' in July 2016. The document outlines steps to develop an electricity market through spot trading and links between markets in the region. The overall purpose is to create a regional electricity market.
The countries also endorsed a 'Western Balkan Sustainability Charter'. In it, the Western Balkan 6 countries commit to efforts to increase the sustainability of national and regional energy markets as well as their generation and consumption patterns. Ongoing work to reform and integrate electricity markets will be stepped up at the same time.