BiH energy strategy should be adopted by end-August – minister
Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Mirko Šarović expects the country’s energy strategy to be adopted at the next session of the Council of Ministers of BiH, the Fena news agency reported.
It seems that all obstacles have been overcome, the opinions of the entities have been obtained, and the details are been agreed, Šarović said, adding that he believes that this very important document will be adopted by the end of. He said that BiH is the only country in the region without an energy strategy.
According to Šarović, the adoption of the energy strategy will open the door to various EU funds for the countries of the Western Balkans.
The adoption of the Rural Development Strategy put BiH in the position to use IPA funds, which means EUR 300 million annually or EUR 900 million over three years, Šarović said. The situation with the energy strategy will be similar, as its adoption could unlock certain projects that country could not implement so far.
Šarović said that there are different calculations of how much BiH has lost due to delays in adopting the energy strategy.
Since the strategy has been being discussed since 2008, for 10 years now, and BiH could not use IPA funds over all these years, and given that no energy project has been implemented under the Western Balkans platform, BiH has probably suffered a loss of around EUR 200 million worth of projects, Šarović said, adding that damage is even greater in other segments.
In July the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted recommendations for the energy sector reform, proposed by seven MPs.
The House of Representatives authorized the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH to coordinate and monitor the implementation of these recommendations in cooperation with relevant ministries and to report to the Parliament of BiH on the state of implementation every six months.
Admir Softić, Assistant Minister for Energy in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, earlier said that the adoption of the Energy Sector Strategy is a prerequisite for continuing reforms.