The international organisation Energy Community has signed a contract with the European Commission to provide technical assistance to the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region in the framework of the EU4Energy Programme, which is a continuation of the previous regional energy cooperation programme INOGATE. The four-year initiative covers six countries - Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. It will focus on improvement of energy legislative and regulatory frameworks, implementation of policy recommendations and investment promotion for key energy infrastructure strategic projects.
The programme, with a budget of EUR 6.8 million, will be built on the countries’ obligations under the Energy Community Treaty, EU Association Agreements (when applicable) and national priorities. EU4Energy will cover gas, electricity, energy efficiency and renewables issues, said a press release from the Energy Community. The Energy Community Secretariat will coordinate the overall programme, while the implementation in three out of the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus) will be subcontracted to the Energy Charter Secretariat. Programme offices in Kyiv and Tbilisi will be set up to manage all the activities.
The Energy Community entered into force in 2006, and aims to extend the EU internal energy market to South East Europe and beyond, and enhance the overall security of supply. Parties have committed themselves to liberalise their energy markets and implement key EU legal acts in the area of electricity, gas, environment and renewable energy. Among the Eastern Partners, Moldova (since May 2010) and Ukraine (as of February 2011) are both full members of the Energy Community. Armenia and Georgia have observer status, and Georgia is in the process of joining as a full member.
Source: EU Neighbourhood Info Centre