IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE - The information on this site is subject to adisclaimerand acopyright notice
 
Contact   |   Search  

 << HOME
   
Enlargement process
Acceding countries
Candidate countries
Potential candidate countries
Financial assistance

  Projects

Who does what?
Direct Access
Press corner
Enlargement videos
Picture gallery
Turkish Cypriot community
Chapter 14 - Energy
Graphical element
 

 

Background

The European Union is a key actor on the international energy market as the largest importer and as the second largest consumer in the world. Energy is a major economic and geopolitical factor. The European Union is, however, dependent on imports for half of its supplies, while this dependence could even reach 70% by the year 2030, if nothing is done. For natural gas, dependence could reach 70 %; for oil 90% and for coal even 100%. Most likely, enlargement will only reinforce these trends, despite the fact that certain (former) candidate countries are producers of primary energy (e.g. Poland for coal and Romania for oil and gas).

This situation calls for various measures about which the European Commission has launched in 2001 a wide debate (Green Paper 'Towards a European strategy for the security of energy supply). Measures in the energy sector should aim at a more stable flow of energy, ultimately underpinning the Union's efforts to ensure peace, stability, security and prosperity. In this, the European Union's enlargement process has a key role to play.

The energy acquis represents the body of all energy related EU law, regulations and policies. Implementing the acquis requires not only adequate legislation but also well functioning institutions (for example a regulatory body as required in the electricity and gas directives, a nuclear safety authority etc).

In view of the energy acquis, candidate countries need notably to:

  • decide on an overall energy policy with clear timetables for restructuring the sector;
  • prepare for the internal energy market (the Gas and Electricity directives; Cross border exchanges in electricity; the Directive on electricity produced from renewable energy sources);
  • improve energy networks in order to create a real European market;
  • prepare for crisis situations, particularly through the constitution of 90 days of oil stocks;
  • address the social, regional and environmental consequences of the restructuring of mines;
  • waste less energy and increase the use of renewable energies such as wind, hydro, solar and biomass in their energy balance;
  • ensure the safety of nuclear power plants in order that electricity is produced according to a high level of nuclear safety;
  • ensure that nuclear waste is handled in a responsible manner; and prepare for the implementation of Euratom Safeguards on nuclear materials.

Candidate countries have made considerable progress over the past years and the above-mentioned issues are applicable to the candidate countries in varying degrees. More is however necessary and this will evidently continue to require large amounts of investment funding. Although the EU will continue to assist with pre-accession aid, the bulk will have to be financed by candidate countries themselves. Private investments have an important role to play in this context and require a stable investment climate.

As regards the issue of nuclear energy, the European Union has repeatedly emphasised the importance of a high level of nuclear safety in candidate countries. In June 2001, the Council of the European Union took note of a Report on Nuclear Safety in the Context of Enlargement. This Report contains recommendations to all candidate countries to continue their national safety improvement programmes, including the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, and regarding the safety of their research reactors.

All candidate countries have responded to these recommendations. During the first half of 2002, a special Peer Review on nuclear safety assessed the progress made by candidate countries in implementing all recommendations. This exercise under the auspices of the Council resulted in a Status Report, which was published in June 2002. It comes to the general conclusion that all candidate countries are clearly committed to fulfil the recommendations.

The EU has also insisted on the early closure of certain types of nuclear power units.

Slovakia committed to close the two units of the Bohunice-V-1 Nuclear Power Plant by 2006 and 2008 respectively. At the Copenhagen European Council it was decided to support Slovakia's efforts by an amount of 90 million in the period 2004-2006. The Union acknowledged that the decommissioning process will have to continue beyond 2006 and that this effort represents for Slovakia a significant financial burden. Decisions on the continuation of EU assistance in this field after 2006 will take this situation into account.

Lithuania committed to close Unit-1 of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant before 2005 and Unit-2 by 2009, while the EU took a commitment to continue to provide adequate additional Community assistance to the decommissioning effort also beyond 2006. The Union acknowledged that the decommissioning effort is of unprecedented nature and represents for Lithuania an exceptional financial burden not commensurate with the size and economic strength of the country. At the Copenhagen European Council it was decided to support Lithuania's efforts with an amount of 285 million in the period 2004-2006.

Bulgaria, in line with its commitments, closed down for decommissioning units 1 and 2 of Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant at the end of 2002. It also committed to close units 3 and 4 in 2006. Furthermore, regarding the so-called "Peer Review" mechanism under the auspices of the EU Council, in November 2003 EU dispatched an expert mission to Bulgaria to verify in situ the status of implementation of the recommendations contained in the above Council reports . Furthermore, the EU expressed its readiness to consider the matter of continued financial assistance in this area. Within the framework of the accession negotiations, it was decided to support Bulgaria’s efforts with an amount of € 550 million in the period 2000-2009.

Generally, in the energy chapter, negotiations concentrate, depending on the country concerned, on the constitution of emergency oil stocks, the internal energy market (gas and electricity directives) and nuclear safety.

For EU energy policy developments please refer to the Commission's DG Energy and Transport's website.

State of play

The energy chapter has been closed with 10 countries in December 2002. It has also been closed with Bulgaria and Romania in December 2004.

Compliance with the acquis

The latest assessment of each candidate country’s compliance with the acquis under this chapter heading, can be found in the 2004 Regular Reports and in the Comprehensive Monitoring Reports, available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/archives/key_documents/reports_2004_en.htm.

 

Country by country

Bulgaria

  • Chapter opened: second half of 2001
  • Status: closed in December 2004 (provisionally closed in second half of 2002)
  • Transitional period:
    • build up of oil stocks to required level, until the end of 2012

Cyprus (New Member State)

  • Chapter opened: second half of 1999
  • Status: Closed December 2002 (provisionally closed in first half of 2001)
  • Transitional period:
    • build up of oil stocks to required level, until the end of 2007

Czech Republic (New Member State)

  • Chapter opened: second half of 1999
  • Status: Closed December 2002 (provisionally closed in second half of 2001)
  • Transitional period:
    • build up of oil stocks to required level, until the end of 2005
    • implementation of gas directive, until the end of 2004

Estonia (New Member State)

  • Chapter opened: second half of 1999
  • Status: Closed December 2002 (provisionally closed in July 2002)
  • Transitional period:
    • build up of oil stocks to required level, until the end of 2009
    • implementation of electricity directive, until the end of 2008

Hungary (New Member State)

  • Chapter opened: second half of 1999
  • Status: Closed December 2002 (provisionally closed in second half of 2000)
  • Transitional period: none

Latvia (New Member State)

  • Chapter opened: first half of 2001
  • Status: Closed December 2002 (provisionally closed in second half of 2001)
  • Transitional period:
    • build up of oil stocks to required level, until the end of 2009

Lithuania (New Member State)

  • Chapter opened: first half of 2001
  • Status: Closed December 2002 (provisionally closed in first half of 2002)
  • Transitional period:
    • build up of oil stocks to required level, until the end of 2009

Malta (New Member State)

  • Chapter opened: first half of 2001
  • Status: Closed December 2002 (provisionally closed in first half of 2001)
  • Transitional period:
    • build up of oil stocks to required level, until the end of 2006

Poland (New Member State)

  • Chapter opened: second half of 1999
  • Status: Closed December 2002 (provisionally closed in second half of 2001)
  • Transitional period:
    • build up of oil stocks to required level, until the end of 2008

Romania

  • Chapter opened: first half of 2002
  • Status: closed in December 2004 (provisionally closed in second half of 2004)
  • Transitional period:
    • build up of oil stocks to required level, until the end of 2012

Slovakia (New Member State)

  • Chapter opened: first half of 2001
  • Status: Closed December 2002 (provisionally closed in second half of 2001)
  • Transitional period:
    • build up of oil stocks to required level, until the end of 2008

Slovenia (New Member State)

  • Chapter opened: second half of 1999
  • Status: Closed December 2002 (provisionally closed in first half of 2001)
  • Transitional period:
    • build up of oil stocks to required level, until the end of 2005

 updated: 17/12/2004

 
Top
 
 
White line