South East Europe should not become a dumping ground for dirty energy projects, say MEPs
[Brussels, 10 March 2015] Last Friday, 6th March, Chairs of the European Parliament Delegations for six* EU accession countries and the Vice-President of the European Parliament sent a letter to Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, urging them to ensure that the reform of the Energy Community Treaty align its members with EU membership requirements.
Civil society organizations SEE Change Net and Climate Action Network Europe would like to thank the MEPs for expressing their sincere concern over the energy future of the countries in South East Europe.
The Energy Community Treaty brings together the European Union and the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova. Its revision process, which entered its final lap, should ensure that the partners comply with all the EU’s relevant environmental, climate and social acquis when developing their energy policies.
Anneliese Dodds, Monica Macovei, Tonino Picula, Eduard Kukan and Alojz Peterle*, delegation chairs for South East Europe countries, as well as Ulrike Lunacek, delegation member and Vice-President of the European Parliament, stated that the Energy Community’s legal framework should create a level playing field on environmental standards, and secure that South East Europe “does not become a dumping ground for dirty energy projects”.
“The social aspects of the Energy Community must be taken into account in any discussion about its future”, said MEP Anneliese Dodds. “More has to be done to tackle energy poverty and for the protection of users, especially vulnerable ones, as well as ensuring decent terms and conditions in the workforce”, she added.
The MEPs also stressed the importance of proper application of procurement and state aid rules, in order to increase transparency in the region, and urged the Energy Community to make a firm commitment to the EU 2050 Road Map and apply the 2020 and 2030 climate goals as a matter of priority.
“We strongly support the positions of the chairs of delegations regarding the importance of proper application of procurement and state aid rules, as our research has shown that high level corruption in the energy sector in South East Europe is endemic”, said Garret Tankosić-Kelly, Principal of SEE Change Net.
“This year all countries are expected to adopt climate pledges for the global climate deal to be signed in December in Paris. MEPs call for climate action in South East Europe coincides with this global move towards more renewable, clean energy systems” said Dragana Mileusnić, Energy policy coordinator for South East Europe at Climate Action Network Europe. “We expect all Energy Community countries to put forth ambitious climate commitments well before the Paris summit”, she concluded.
* Correction from the original press release: MEP Alojz Peterle, Chair of Delegation for relations with FYR of Macedonia, co-signed the letter on 10th March, after the publication of this statement, and his name was added consequently.
Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe.
SEE Change Net is a Sarajevo-based think tank that campaigns for better governance, a higher quality of life and a more efficient use of resources in South East Europe.
Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 494 525 738
Dragana Mileusnic, CAN Europe Energy Policy Coordinator for South East Europe, email@example.com, +32 2 894 46 82
Masha Durkalic, SEE Change Net Communication Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, + 387 33 213 716