The Energy Community is an intergovernmental organization dealing with energy policy in Southeast Europe and the Black Sea region.
Founded in 2005, it aims to extend the EU internal energy market to South East Europe and beyond on the basis of a legally binding framework. With that it aims to bring new investments, enhance security of supply and improve environmental conditions in the region. (See map of members below).
The adoption of the EU legislation in energy and related areas (competition, environment etc.) by the countries in the Energy Community was to create and integrated energy market based on the same environmental and social standards. So far, about 25 laws have been incorporated into the Energy Community’s legal framework to this date, covering gas, electricity, security of supply, renewables, oil, energy efficiency, environment, competition and statistics.
The Treaty has indeed brought some progressive policies to the region. For instance, participating countries are obliged to increase the share of renewable energy in their final energy mix while improving overall energy efficiency. Renewable energy targets are calculated using the same methodology as under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, spanning to 2020. The targets vary from 11% for Ukraine to 40% for Bosnia and Herzegovina. In October 2015, the countries have also committed to implementing the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. The countries are expected to implement the EU Large Combustion Plants Directive by 2028, followed by the Industrial Emissions Directive thereafter.
Much still needs to be done. The work of the Energy Community is almost fully funded by the EU so the European Commission has both the carrot and the stick to lead the change in the region. Despite the fact that these policies are supposed to enable a low-carbon energy transition in the region, this has so far not been the case. The reasons are twofold: firstly, not all of the EU’s environmental and social safeguards are applicable in the Energy Community countries; and secondly, the implementation of the existing provisions is insufficient.
CAN Europe, together with partners, advocates for a stronger enforcement mechanism and expanding the environmental and climate legislation covered by the Treaty.
pdf Beyond Borders: How Energy Union can turn the tide against coal in the Western Balkans (3.17 MB) . The report explores the implications of the Energy Union Framework for the Western Balkans and proposes improvements to the existing cooperation tools between the EU and its friends in the immediate neighbourhood. We look at the Energy Community, the EU accession negotiation, the Berlin Process and the COP21.
pdf Recommendations for the reform of the energy community treaty (511 KB) This document represents the agreed position on the Reform of the Energy Community. We call for the Energy Community to be equipped with a functioning enforcement mechanism. We demand that the EU’s environmental and social standards are applied across the Energy Community countries.