European Commission launches negotiations with Georgia to join the Energy Community
On 20 February the European Commission and Georgia launched negotiations for Georgia's accession to the Energy Community. The negotiations in Tbilisi were held in the presence of Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, for the European Commission and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Vice-Prime Minister as well as Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze, for Georgia. By becoming Member of the Energy Community and implementing EU energy legislation Georgia will have closer ties with EU's single energy market. This will attract investments and increase the financial sustainability of the energy sector.
Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said: “Today's negotiations mark Georgia's path towards regional integration and enhanced energy cooperation with the EU. Joining the Energy Community will attract investments into Georgia and bring Georgian citizens and businesses closer to the other members of the Energy Community and the European Union.”
The Director of the Energy Community Secretariat Janez Kopač said: “I am very happy that Georgia will become a full member of the Energy Community family. The Energy Community has proven to be an effective tool for supporting reforms in the energy sector and fostering investment. The opening of the negotiations sends an important signal that Georgia is on its way to develop its energy markets in a sustainable way”.
The negotiating team exchanged views on a timetable for Georgia to implement key EU rules on electricity and gas networks, environment, renewable energy, energy efficiency, oil and on energy statistics.
The next negotiation round is scheduled to take place in Brussels on 19 March 2014.
Background The Parties to the Energy Community are the European Union and eight countries from South East Europe and the Black Sea region: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine. To date, Georgia, Armenia, Norway and Turkey have the status of Observers.
In the medium term, the Energy Community aims at creating an integrated energy market across the region which allows for cross-border trade, guarantees energy supply and takes into consideration climate and social aspects. Source: Energy Community