State of compliance
Since the alignment of national legislation with the requirements of the Third Energy Package in 2016, the organisation, competences and independence of the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) is compliant with the Energy Community acquis communautaire. ERO is headed by five Board members, including a chairperson. The term of Board members is limited to a period of five years, renewable once and is subject to a rotation scheme. As an aspect for improvement, the selection procedure for commissioners would be better protected from political influence if an expert committee was involved. ERO is accountable for its activities by presenting its annual report to the Parliament.
On the practical side, an infringement action by the Secretariat related to the inability of the regulator to function effectively was only remedied in March 2018, following a one-year lack of a decision-making quorum. In July 2018, new risks for ERO’s independence were brought to the attention of the Secretariat in the context of an envisaged reform of the public administration of Kosovo*. Should such proposals be adopted, they would introduce serious constraints to the functional and budgetary independence of the regulator as well as a significant incompliance with the organisational requirements for regulatory authorities stemming from the Third Package. The Secretariat has raised its concerns with the authorities of Kosovo* and will continue to closely follow related developments.
During the reporting period, ERO improved its profile at the national level. First steps in liberalizing the electricity market and the introduction of an exemplary practice for mutual recognition of licenses based on the principle of reciprocity prove that the regulator is starting to live up to its competences and the challenges of compliance with the acquis. This deserves particular praise in an environment as difficult as that of the Kosovo* electricity sector.