The regional conference “Creating Energy Market in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood”, organised by the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) in the framework of the EU4Energy Phase II Programme was held 19 June with the aim to facilitate experience-sharing among ministries and energy regulators both from the EU and from Eastern Partnership countries.
The Conference brought together decision-makers, regulators and experts in the energy field to discuss the challenges and opportunities of regional integration on the background of the current energy crisis and lessons learnt from the winter of 2022-23. The event offered participants the opportunity to exchange views on creating a regional energy market and address the challenges and prospects in the South Caucasus as well as the implications for security of supply in the European Union and the Energy Community.
Ensuring the delivery of secure, sustainable and affordable energy to consumers requires the integration of the energy market where barriers to cross-border trade are removed and common energy market rules are applied. The creation of an integrated regional energy market can reduce countries’ energy volatility and dependence on a single source of energy. The development of a regional market would also increase energy trading among the neighbouring countries, promote the development of renewables and their integration into the grid, and thus encourage the diversification of energy sources.
Wolfgang Urbantschitsch, Executive Director of the Austrian Regulatory Authority E-Control and Vice President of the Council of European Energy Regulators welcomed participants and set the stage by emphasising the importance of creating a regional market in the Eastern Neighbourhood.
In his keynote address, Nicholas Cendrowicz, Deputy Head of Unit of Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission talked about the increased need for securing energy supplies and for creating a regional market for this purpose in light of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Mr. Cendrowicz also highlighted the need to adopt an appropriate regulatory framework to boost renewable energy and infrastructure development.
CEER Vice President and Chair of the Latvian Regulatory Authority Public Utilities Commission Alda Ozola addressed the audience by outlining the significance of a proper regulatory framework and enabling environments for the regional energy market. Ms Ozola referred to the enhanced cooperation and exchange of best practices between countries at the regulatory level, mentioning CEER as one of the important platforms to promote such cooperation.
The Deputy Director of the Energy Community Secretariat Dirk Buschle talked about the legal and regulatory requirements for Creating Regional Energy Market: “Integrating national energy markets and reaping the many benefits requires homogenous and stable rules across Europe. The Energy Community recently made significant progress in this regard in the areas of electricity markets, security of supply and decarbonization”. The Head of Renewable Integration and Secure Electricity Division of International Energy Agency, Pablo Hevia-Koch presented the policy trends and market developments for the European Power Sector, including providing data about the impacts of the energy crisis in Europe.
The EU4Energy initiative is funded by the European Union with a total budget of €8.5 million and is jointly implemented by the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Energy Community Secretariat (EnCS). The Programme highlights the importance of collaboration and cooperation between the EU, implementing partners and beneficiary institutions in carrying out reforms and bringing concrete benefits to citizens.