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The Western Balkans and the Energy Union: Will the EU address carbon lock-in beyond its borders?

The Energy Union must find ways to prevent state support for the production of fossil fuel energy by the European Union’s immediate neighbours. The EU cannot afford to have newly acceding members holding up progress towards the new 2030 climate goals or watering down future policy making.


Guest post: Croatia and the Energy Union: the European Commission's unwarranted obsession with gas

Building the Energy Union, the European Commission pretends that all is well for renewables in Croatia and unnecessarily fixates on diversifying gas supply instead of managing demand.


[Campaign update] Ombla hydropower plant nature impact assessment rejected

The Croatian Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection has refused Hrvatska Elektroprovreda (HEP)'s nature impact assessment for the Ombla hydropower project near Dubrovnik.


Resavica: Serbia's canary in the coal mine

After decades of powering Serbia it seems the coal business in the country is on life support. Yet policymakers in Belgrade refuse to consider alternative sources of energy.


The Balkans Are Giving Climate Change the Finger

Source: Nathan Siegel, Ozy

After just five hours visiting the tiny Serbian village of Vreoci, just outside the country’s capital, environmental activist Dragana Mileusnic developed a terrible cough. Vreoci is pincered between two rapidly expanding arms of the Kolubara coal mine, one of the largest in Europe, which churns out 22 million tons of coal per year — along with what Mileusnic calls “incredible” air pollution. Now the mine owner is resettling the entire village because coal dust, smog and respiratory disease have made life there unbearable.

Romanian environmental inspectorate orders closure of two coal plants operating outside EU pollution laws

Last week the Environmental Inspectorate in Hunedoara, Romania demanded the closure of two thermal power plants at Mintia and Paroşeni, because neither of the units complies with air quality requirements of the EU’s Large Combustion Plants Directive (LCPD). Hunedoara Energy Complex, which manages the Mintia and Paroşeni plants, has challenged the decision in court.

After Slovenia's Sostanj coal power plant debacle, is any bank going to finance Croatia's Plomin C?

Slovenia's newly built Sostanj 6 is expected to generate losses of around EUR 200 million over the next 3-4 years. Given that Croatia's Plomin C project shares some of Sostanj 6's features could Croatia be about to repeat its neighbour's mistakes?


Possible coal and energy State aid cases in Energy Community countries based on publicly accessible information

By signing the Energy Community Treaty in 2005, countries in the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova agreed to abide by the European Union's competition rules. But a number of energy sector investments are being planned that may not so far have taken adequate account of state aid rules. This briefing includes case studies of projects from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine.

See related materials including a more detail briefing, a press release and a slideshow at:

Illegal coal subsidies could cost south-east European countries dearly, warns new study

Prague - New investments in coal mines and power plants could cost the Western Balkans and Ukraine dearly if they fail to take into account binding rules on subsidies (State aid), according to a new briefing released today by CEE Bankwatch Network.

Risks for coal and electricity investments in the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova due to state-aid rules

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By signing the Energy Community Treaty in 2005, countries in the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova agreed that the European Union's competition rules are to be applied also within their territory. A number of energy sector investments are being planned that may not so far have taken adequate account of State aid rules. This briefing therefore provides a summary to draw attention to relevant requirements of EU law and highlight the risks of failure to take them into account when planning investments. The account when planning investments.

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