The Energy Community was established by an agreement (Treaty establishing the Energy Community) that was signed in Athens in 2005 and came into force in 2006.
Its contracting parties include the European Union, represented by the European Commission, as well as the following nine countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine. Armenia, Norway, and Turkey take part as observers.
The Energy Community’s main objective is to extend parts of the EU acquis, especially energy market rules, security of supply, including oil storage obligations, environmental protection, promotion of renewables, energy-efficiency measures, and rules on energy statistics to countries outside the EU, to South Eastern Europe, the Black Sea region and beyond. The goal is to create a pan-European energy market. The topics covered and the number of countries included in the Energy Community may increase.
The European Union serves as a role model in terms of institutional organisation: the Energy Community comprises a Ministerial Council, a Permanent High Level Group and a Regulatory Board (ECRB). In addition, market participants, representatives of the European Commission, interest groups, donors, and regulators meet once a year in so called Energy Community fora to exchange information, monitor the whole process and to draw up an agenda establishing future steps to be taken together.
E-Control strives to disseminate the best practices of the EU acquis (including to non-EU countries) and advocates for the harmonisation or compatibility of (future) market rules with EU market rules. It is represented at the executive level by being a member of the Advisory Committee. The Committee advises the Ministerial Council in dispute settlement processes. The current chairperson of the Advisory Committee and one of its five members is Wolfgang Urbantschitsch. There are also E-Control employees in the Regulatory Board and in working groups.
The official residence of this international organisation and its secretariat is located in Vienna, where most of the bodies meet. Just like with CEER in 2002, E-Control contributed to the institutional development of the Energy Community.