The inaugural Energy Community Civil Society Day brought together 24 organisations from 11 countries at on June 21.
Representatives of international financial institutions, academic institutions, government ministries as well as the European Parliament and Commission also took part. The Energy Community (EnC) said the aim of the event, which will be organized on an annual basis, is to increase transparency of its process and provide a forum for dialogue on issues which matter to civil society.
Borko Raičević, Energy Efficiency Expert from Energy Community provided participants with an insight into the latest policy developments in the energy efficiency while his colleague Peter Vajda, Environmental Expert delivered a presentation about policy developments in environmental areas . Public Dialogue Initiative on the sustainable use of energy in SEE was presented by Jasna Sekulović, Project Manager at GIZ Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe Energy Efficiency (ORF-EE). Opportunities, challenges and expectations for a reformed EnC were the focus of a roundtable discussion with members of its Permanent High Level Group (PHLG). Participants from the non-governmental sector highlighted the need to ensure greater public participation in the organization’s work as well as national energy reform processes. They also expressed the need for additional European Union legislation from the environmental and climate fields to be incorporated into EnC acquis as well as to strengthen the administrative capacities of the contracting parties and the secretariat.
The event took place on the eve of the EnC PHLG meeting, which prepared the upcoming Ministerial Council in Sarajevo, scheduled for October. The group endorsed four pieces of new or updated environmental acquis for adoption by the Ministerial Council – amendments by Directive 2014/52/EU on environmental impact assessment, Directive 2001/42/EC on strategic environmental assessment, Directive 2004/35/EC on environmental liability, and amendments to the Directive 1999/32/ on the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels.
PHLG also welcomed the announcement of the European Commission to propose a recommendation to incorporate the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (525/2013) into the EnC acquis and invited the commission to present a proposal on that topic in time for adoption by the Ministerial Council.