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Parliaments and the future of energy cooperation in Western Balkans

September 6th and 7th 2014, Budva, Montenegro

Nearly 75 MPs and parliamentary staff from the Western Balkan parliaments along with representatives from the ministries for economy and energy, energy production and energy transmission companies, regulatory bodies and energy experts convened at a regional conference in Budva, Montenegro on September 6th and 7th. The goal of the conference was to discuss the “Parliamentary oversight of Energy policies and Energy Investments”

The conference was opened by  Mr. Suljo Mustafic, deputy president of the Parliament of Montenegro by saying: 

“There is a need to strengthen the regional cooperation in the energy sector, and the establishment of a stable regulatory and market environment is a key prerequisite for attracting investments in the energy sector. “ Mr. Mustafic stressed that:

“The issue of strengthening the regional cooperation in the energy sector was also discussed at the conference on the Western Balkans, recently held in Berlin, and that this kind of meetings are a real opportunity for members of parliaments of the Western Balkans to exchange opinions regarding the definition of best practices of supervision over the implementation of energy policies.”

During the two day conference the panelists and participants exchanged views and arguments on  “Energy Treaty and the 3rd Energy package – Legislative challenges for parliaments in the Western Balkans”, “Future of Sustainable Energy solutions – Legislative solutions and oversight of best practices”, “Energy investments in the Western Balkans – Future needs and implications for the future.” And “Role of Energy regulatory bodies and the role of parliaments in oversight of regulatory bodies and energy policies”.

Mr. Aleksandar Damjanovic, Chairperson of the NPC board and chairperson of the Committee on Economy, Finance and Budget in the Parliament of Montenegro additionally emphasized the importance of continuous regional cooperation in the area of energy by saying:

 “The idea for organisation of a conference for the participants and the topic that we are covering today came from one of the recommendations from the trilateral meeting between members of parliamentary committees competent for the energy sector of the Parliament of Montenegro, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska, held in Trebinje, in March this year.

It is important to strengthen parliamentary oversight of energy policies and investments in energy, in order for these policies, not to be defined and implemented inside small circles of the executive authorities and the business sector.”

In addition, Mr Damjanovic tressed that: “The activities for establishment of Parliamentary Assembly of the Energy Community, the idea jointly presented by members of parliaments of the Western Balkans, in July this year, at the headquarters of the Energy Community in Vienna must continue.”

Representatives from ministries for economy and energy, energy production and energy transmission companies, regulatory bodies and energy experts from the region also provided their views as panelists and as participants at the conference.

As a result of the conference, the participants adopted conclusions that should serve as a guideline for enhancing of the role that they have in the process of conducting oversight over the energy policies in the Western Balkans.

 

Finally it was noted that: “The Network recommends and supports the establishment of an Energy Community Parliamentary Assembly, which would bring together members of the European Parliament and Members of parliament of the Energy community contracting parties.”

The conference is organized by the Network of Parliamentary Committees for Economy, Finance and European Integration of the Western Balkans (NPC), with the support of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).

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