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Training for Parliamentary Staff Members on Energy Markets Policies

Training for Parliamentary Staff Members on Energy Markets Policies

On 5th and 6th December 2014, a group of parliamentary staff members from the Western Balkans parliaments attended a 2-day seminar on preparing for effective parliamentary oversight of energy markets policies. The training took place in Tirana, Albania, as part of the work of the Network of Parliamentary Committees on Economy, Finance and European Integration in the Western Balkans.

Around 25 parliamentary advisors, secretaries and assistants from parliaments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo*, Albania, and Macedonia followed the lectures of renowned university professors and former MPs, Ms. Vesna Borozan and Mr. Mirza Kusljugic. In addition, a senior researcher in the Scottish Parliament, Mr. Alastair Reid, offered insights and best practices from his work offering support to the Members of his Parliament.

“What we have to understand is that energy is no longer a national issue. Energy transcends borders, and this is the only way for the Balkan countries to achieve sustainability and progress.”  - explained Professor Vesna Borozan, an experienced advisor to various bodies, including the Energy Community.  By giving an overview of the work of the Energy Community, Ms. Borozan laid the foundations for better understanding as to how the individual Balkan countries may benefit from joint efforts and cooperation.

Throughout the seminar, the participants gave suggestions and feedback for the creation of a toolkit on the topic of parliamentary oversight over energy markets policies. Their unique understanding of the functioning of the Parliaments presented a crucial insight for the most effective use of the draft toolkit prepared by Ms. Borozan and Mr. Kusljugic.

With the presentation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia as case studies, the participants were invited to share their understanding and the status of the energy markets in their countries. As part of the training, the participants discussed the approach that their countries’ Parliaments have towards further liberalization of the energy markets in the Balkans. This was a unique and much-appreciated opportunity for exchange of experiences between the Parliaments on an issue as crucial as energy markets policies.