In October 2005 the European Union and the Contracting Parties took the decisive step of founding the Energy Community. In order to facilitate the process, the Treaty establishing the Energy Community equipped several stakeholders with distinct rights and duties. The interplay of these stakeholders keeps the process in motion.
The Energy Community stakeholders brings together representatives of the Contracting Parties, Participants, Observers and Donors. As a rule, a senior level civil servant from ministry of economic affairs, section energy, represents the stakeholder at the institutional meetings of the Energy Community.
It was known fromt the outset, that the membership of the Energy Community is likely to evolve over time. Given that the optimum electricity and gas networks would cover the whole of the geographical European landmass, there are several countries for which there would be mutual benefits in joining. Such countries are welcomed to join the Energy Community, provided they take on board the commitments of membership.
Pursuant to Title IX of the Treaty, neighbouring third parties may apply for the status of an Observer. The Ministerial Council must decide by unanimity on the acceptance of a new Observer. The country with an Observer status can subsequently express its interest in becoming a Contracting Party to the Treaty. The accession is subject to a negotiation process lead by the European Commission.
All the 27 European Union member states have the right to become a Participant to the Energy Community Treaty.