Prishtina, 24 October 2013 Ministers of member-states of the Energy Community Treaty participated in the 11th meeting of its Council of Ministers, held in Belgrade, Serbia. Republic of Kosovo was represented by the Minister of Economic Development, Fadil Ismajli, whom along with his counterparts from Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro took a number of important decisions.
EnCTs 11th meeting was organized by the Serbian presidency. Representative and co-head of this European Commission council, Fabrizio Barbaso, greeted the ministers on the successful negations on the energy sector.
Ministers of Energy Community member states agreed with the recommendation to make certain adoptions in the implementation of Directive 2012/27 EU on Energy Efficiency. These recommendations will serve as a good legal foundation that will facilitate the implementation of the said directive.
Ministers also adopted the proposal to postpone to 2027 the term for operation of existing thermal power plants in their respective countries, as part of the obligations to implement relevant EU directives. It should be noted that the postponement of the decommissioning deadline for existing thermal power plants represented one of Mr. Fadil Ismajlis priorities before and after taking the ministerial post. This was achieved with the adoption of the said proposal.
Among other, note was made of the dispute between KOSTT (Kosovo) and the Republic of Serbia. The Head of the Energy Community Treaty Secretariat emphasized that the agreement reached between the Government of Kosovo and Serbia represents one step towards a final solution of this dispute. If this agreement is implemented by October 2014, the Energy Community Treaty will raise the matter in the Ministerial Council through relevant instruments.
The Minister of Energy of Serbia, Zorana Mihajlovic, stated that the two companies will sign within three months an inter-TSO agreement on coordinated operation of their systems.
On the other hand, Minister Ismajli greeted all participants and underscored the issue of obstacles that derive from the third package in relation to security of supply, market opening, market prices and regulated prices.
In addressing these matters, the condition/state and development of each individual member state should be taken into consideration, said Minister Ismajli.
Similarly, ministers from Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia agreed with Minister Ismajli and underlined that this process should be conducted with great care and attention.
The meeting was also used to approve the list of projects of interest for the Energy Community. This list contains projects of national and regional interest, which were selected based on Energy Community Secretariats methodology. Such projects include the Kosova e Re Power Plant and 400kV Interconnection Line with Albania.
Although the gas pipeline between Nish and Prishtina was placed in the reserve list of proposed projects, with remarks from the Energy Community Secretariat from e previous meetings, Minister Ismajli asked for the project not to be treated in the list as it was not discussed beforehand with the Government of Kosovo, as the project of regional character it is.
Other issues discussed include the report on implementation of Energy Community Treaty obligations for its member states, as well as the extension of the Treaty for an additional ten years, in order to further coordinate obligations deriving from the Treaty.
Minister Ismajli had a meeting with his Serbian counterpart, Minister Mihajlovic, and the Director of the Energy Community Treaty, Mr. Kopac, in which they expressed their full readiness to the implementation of all agreements in relevant sectors.
Minister Ismajli emphasized that electricity is no God-given gift, but a commodity that has to be paid by all citizens, adding that to this end it is necessary for electricity consumption to be promptly placed under control in Mitrovica North as well.
Another issue of discussion was natural gas, on which Minister Ismajli underlined that feasibility studies have to be performed in order to identify the most economically reasonable solutions for Kosovo and subsequently for the entire region.
For her part, Minister Mihajlovic added that her country will not hinder Kosovos membership in international mechanisms, which represents one of the items of their agreement. The strongest reflection from this meeting of the Ministerial Council held in Belgrade is the fact that this is the first time for a Minister of Economic Development of the Republic of Kosovo to take part in a minister-level meeting in Belgrade. Minister Ismajli was received and escorted with the highest official state protocols.