Today, the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community met virtually in Tivat, Montenegro and discussed the steps towards the modernisation of the Energy Community Treaty through a set of amendments. The purpose of the amendments is to make the Energy Community fully equipped for further market integration and fit for the clean energy transition. The Ministerial Council could not announce the closure of the negotiations and agreed to continue the negotiations in 2021. The meeting also discussed the Green Deal and its application in the region as agreed by the Leaders of the Western Balkans at Sofia Summit of 10 November, and on this occasion, the European Commission presented the Communication on the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.
The Ministerial Council also agreed to adopt today the 2020 General Policy Guidelines on 2030 targets and climate neutrality, which will facilitate the adoption by the Contracting Parties of specific 2030 energy and climate targets that would match the EU ones.
The Energy Community is based on the Energy Community Treaty which brings together the European Union and its neighbours (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine) to create an integrated pan-European energy market. The Energy Community Treaty was signed in October 2005 in Athens, Greece, and is in force since July 2006, initially for a period of 10 years, extended for another 10 years, until 2026.
The key objective of the Energy Community is to extend the EU internal energy market rules and principles to countries in South East Europe, the Black Sea region and beyond through a legally binding framework. The method for integration is based on the adoption by the Energy Community of the EU energy acquis, with some adaptations, which is then transposed by the Contracting Parties in their domestic legal order and implemented.
The Ministerial Council gathers once a year to adopt decisions and recommendations or general policy guidelines as well as to steer and provide political impetus to the work of the Energy Community. The Commission represents the European Union in this body, as the European Union is a Party to the Energy Community Treaty, along the nine non-EU Contracting Parties from the EU neighbourhood.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244(1999) and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
17 December 2020