The Energy Community of Southeast Europe

In October 2005, the European Union signed a treaty on the establishment of the Energy Community of Southeast Europe with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, the FYR of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and UNMIK for Kosovo. It aims to extend the European Internal Energy Market to Southeast Europe.

The contract obliges the signatories in Southeast Europe to transpose the European Union's acquis communautaire on energy, to develop a suitable regulatory framework and to liberalise their energy markets. EU competition law must be implemented. But apart from liberalisation, also security of supply, energy efficiency and the social aspects of energy reforms are important topics in the Energy Community.

The contracting parties are accompanied in their task by currently 19 EU Member States as participants to the treaty. Norway, Turkey and Armenia are observers. International donors are also part of the process.

The Energy Community's work is coordinated by a secretariat in Vienna. Its instutitions are the Ministerial Council, where the countries' energy ministers meet, the Permanent High Level Group containing ministry officials and the Regulatory Board for the cooperation of the energy regulatory authorities. Many market players, representatives of the European Commission, stakeholders, donors and regulators also take the opportunity to meet and contribute to the progress of the Energy Community in several annual fora to exchange information, monitor the process and set the agenda for future joint work.