Recognizing the need to gather all stakeholders in the gas sphere, the Energy Community Secretariat, under the EU4Energy* Governance project, organized a high-level event to support the development of a coherent Natural Gas Market Concept Design in order to ensure the smooth implementation of the Third Energy Package. While the timely adoption of the new Law on Energy remains the highest priority, getting the design of the natural gas market right is equally important in order to maximize the benefits of reform for households and businesses.
Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Ms Natia Turnava, said:
“Georgia remains firmly committed to align its regulatory and legal framework with the best practices of the European Union. We truly appreciate the support of the Energy Community Secretariat under the EU4ENERGY Governance project in helping us find ways to enhance our legal framework in the gas sector, whilst taking into account the specific nature of Georgia. Reforms will bring benefits to businesses and households alike. They are an opportunity to modernize our gas sector, enhance security of energy supply and bring us closer to our European partners”.
Opening the event, Mr Predrag Grujičić, Head of Gas Unit, Energy Community Secretariat, said: “Today’s event will pave the way towards a comprehensive regulatory framework in Georgia to ensure secure and affordable gas supplies. Only such a design, based on market-based principles, will result in more competition, increased energy security, better services for energy customers and more opportunities for energy savings.”
Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia, Mr Carlo Natale, said: “The establishment of a well-functioning gas market in Georgia is not just a legal requirement but also necessity in order to provide high-quality services to Georgian gas consumers. The authorities of Georgia have already embarked on a series of significant reforms, and I would like to encourage them to maintain the same level of ambition and engagement in completing the transformation of the gas sector”.
The two-day event is dedicated to the capacity building of Georgian authorities, natural gas undertakings and other stakeholders in order to increase their practical understanding of the regulation, organisation, operation and functioning of the natural gas market. The event will also tackle the main political and technical implications of gas reform and the requirements for the successful opening of Georgia’s natural gas market.
As set in its Accession Protocol to the Energy Community Treaty, Georgia has committed to implementing EU legislation in the area of natural gas by the end of 2020. The so-called “EU Third Energy Package” will result in the restructuring of the country’s gas sector, opening it to competition and introducing consumer benefits.
* The EU4Energy Initiative covers all EU support to improve energy supply, security and connectivity, as well as to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewables in the Eastern Partner countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It does this by financing projects and programmes that help to reform energy markets and to reduce national energy dependence and consumption. Over the longer term, this makes energy supply more reliable, transparent and affordable, thus reducing energy poverty and energy bills for both citizens and the private sector.
Tbilisi, 4 October