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The European Energy Community

A key driver for energy and related environmental policy in south-eastern Europe is the European Energy Community.

The Energy Community Treaty sets out, among others, which energy-related parts of EU legislation have to be adopted by the participating countries.

The Energy Community brings together Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine – and soon also Georgia - with the goal of creating a common energy market between the EU and some of its neighbours. It also aims to extend the EU internal energy policy to south east Europe and the Black Sea region.

This includes the obligation for member countries to implement EU environmental law and renewable energy targets.

Environmental regulations

Binding regulations are (Source: Energy Community):

  1. the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (1985/337/EEC), deadline 1 July 2006;
  2. the Sulphur Content of Liquid Fuels Directive 1999/32/EC, deadline 31 December 2011;
  3. the Large Combustion Plants Directive 2001/80/EC, deadline 31 December 2017;
  4. Article 4(2) of the Wild Birds Directive, deadline 1 July 2006;
  5. the Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU (for new plants), deadline 1 January 2018.

Encouraged, but not mandatory are:

  1. the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive 2008/1/EC;
  2. the Kyoto Protocol;
  3. the Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU (for existing plants).

Renewable energy targets

The Balkan countries have already adopted targets for renewable energy for 2020 (see below). Yet, in the energy strategy of the Energy Community adopted in 2012, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia indicate plans to increase the production of electricity from coal by between 15 and almost 400 per cent in 2020 compared to 2009, and to triple the exports of electricity thus spending EUR 28.8 billion on new electricity generation capacity.

Nearly 45% of the new Western Balkan capacity (6195 MW of a total new 14 234 MW) is planned to run on coal or lignite. Yet the energy infrastructure they build today will still be operating by 2050, therefore constituting a serious threat to these countries’ ability to comply with EU long-term decarbonisation objectives.

Table: National renewable energy (RES) targets for 2020 for the Energy Community contracting parties (Source: Energy Community)

Contracting Party Share of RES in 2009* Target share of RES in 2020**
Albania 31.2% 38%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 34% 40%
Macedonia 21.9% 28%
Montenegro 26.3% 33%
Serbia 21.2% 27%
Ukraine 5.5% 11%
Kosovo 18.9% 25%

* Share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy, 2009
** Target for share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy, 2020