On 20 April 2018, Mr Pavel Ghaltakhchyan, Deputy Chairman of the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition of the Republic of Armenia, and Ms Marie-Therese Richter, Energy Lawyer at the Secretariat, signed the Joint Declaration on the establishment of an Energy Community Competition Network. This makes Armenia the first Observer to join the Network.
On 18 April, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) hosted the first meeting of the External Contact Platform (ECP), a platform developed by ENTSOG and the Energy Community Secretariat, to strengthen ENTSOG’s cooperation with non-EU gas transmission companies, including those from the Energy Community countries.
The workshop, organized by the Energy Community Secretariat on 24 May in Vienna under its Gas 2020 Agenda, will provide a platform for governments and transmission system operators in the Western Balkans to present their gas infrastructure development plans and share views with key stakeholders, including the European Commission, International Financial Organisations and neighbouring EU countries.
The Transmission System Operator and Energy Regulatory Commission of former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia together with the Independent Energy Exchange and Electricity System Operator of Bulgaria signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the coupling of the two countries’ day-ahead electricity markets at a stakeholder meeting on 12 April held under the auspices of the WB6 energy connectivity initiative facilitated by the Secretariat.
The Secretariat’s WB6 report on sustainability finds that progress in a number of measures has been achieved by governments, although more political support is needed to make full use of existing programmes, accelerate the clean energy transition and deliver on the region’s climate commitments.
Today, the Secretariat officially launched its observatory of national secondary legislation adopted by the Energy Community Contracting Parties to transpose and implement the Energy Community acquis.
Today, the Secretariat published policy recommendations aimed at assisting Belarus to design and implement effective reform measures in its energy sectors in line with best European and Energy Community practices.
Today, the Secretariat launched a public consultation to gather views on the selection of priority infrastructure projects in line with EU Regulation 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure, as adapted for the Energy Community. The projects, in the areas of electricity, gas or oil, have been submitted in an open call by project promoters as potential priority infrastructure projects in line with the TEN-E Regulation.
The acquis requires regulatory authorities to ensure that network tariffs are transparent, cost-reflective and allow for the necessary investment in networks. Tariffs shall also provide to system operators short- and long-term incentives to increase efficiency, foster market integration as well as security of supply. These principles are interpreted very differently and practice in this area is extremely diverse.
Twenty-two international financial institutions and donors participated in the first meeting “Working Together – Achieving More” organized by the Energy Community Secretariat on 27 March. The aim of the conference was to provide a discussion platform among financing institutions and donors focused on identifying ways to maximize synergies in their work and avoiding overlaps when providing technical or financial support to the Energy Community Contracting Parties.
The Secretariat’s WB6 report on electricity points to limited progress achieved by the Contracting Parties during the latest monitoring period despite the renewed interest in the implementation of regional solutions for day-ahead market processes and coupling. Further implementation of the connectivity reform measures largely depends on major institutional changes at the national level. Foremost, this includes finalising the unbundling of transmission and distribution system operators and appointing day-ahead market operators. The lack of progress is also notable with respect to wholesale and retail market opening.
Today, the Secretariat published its in-depth review of Ukrainian national regulatory authority’s (NEURC) de iure and de facto compliance with the Energy Community acquis. The analysis, requested by the regulator, covers the legal framework as regards the organisational structure, competences and duties of the Board of Commissioners. It also examines the regulator’s genuine independence, professionalism and expertise necessary to perform its duties according to the requirements of the Third Energy Package.
With the aim of facilitating the reporting process, the European Environment Agency has agreed for the Secretariat to make use of its tools for the reporting and assessment of data submitted by the Contracting Parties.
Today, the Energy Community Secretariat sent a Reasoned Opinion to Ukraine for its non-compliance with the rules on allocation of cross-border capacity and their application for transit, as the next step in the dispute settlement case.
On 9 March 2018, the Moldovan regulator (ANRE) published an electricity distribution tariff methodology for 2018-2023 in the Official Journal. This methodology will replace the previous one, which is subject to an infringement procedure in Case ECS-9/17. During the drafting process, the Secretariat and an international tariff expert funded by the EU ensured compliance with the Energy Community acquis and European best practices. Today, the Secretariat, upon invitation by the International Monetary Fund, assessed the final methodology as compliant.
Today, Moldovan transmission, distribution and supply companies should have received technical and financial offers for electricity contracts for the period April 2018 – March 2019. Yet, with one exception, all the bidders announced either that they withdraw from the procedure or that they can only submit their offer at a later stage.
Today the Energy Community Secretariat published its Opinion on the certification of the Montenegrin transmission system operator Crnogorski Elektroprenosni Sistem AD Podgorica(“CGES”), under the Third Energy Package. The Opinion supports the certification of CGES in line with the Preliminary Decision of the Regulatory Energy Agency of Montenegro “RAE”, subject to several remarks.
The Energy Community Regulatory Board (ECRB) and Mediterranean Energy Regulators (MedReg) agreed to step up cooperation at a recent meeting hosted by the Energy Community Secretariat.
Following its meeting on 14 December 2017 in Pristina, the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community decided by written procedure on three dispute settlement cases for breach of the Energy Community Treaty by its Contracting Parties.