On Energy Union with European Commission Vice-Chair

June 11, 2015

The meeting took place at the Residence of Michael Davenport, Head of EU Delegation to Serbia, in Belgrade on 10th June. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Continental Wind, Ceramics Association, Cement Industry Association and SCC and Mirjana Nozic, а NIS Liaison Officer with EU institutions. Maroš Šefčovič has given a brief outline of principal elements of the Energy Union concept, challenges and problems he learnt of as he has been touring the EU countries to promote the essence of this organisation. The Vice-Chair of the European Commission in charge of Energy Union used the occasion to emphasize that the Energy Union looks also to involve the candidate-countries, i.e. the principles it proclaims would also apply to the candidate-countries – energy supply safety, energy efficiency, decarbonisation as well as giving impetus to the investments into renewable energy sources. Šefčovič stressed the importance of a diversified energy supply and in view of this he mentioned the support EU gives to the construction of the LNG terminal on the island of Krk. He pointed to the big “war” for market currently under way between Saudi Arabia (conventional) on the one hand and the U.S. and Canada on the other, in which neither one group, nor the other want to give up the production, positioning on the world market and conquering it. Maroš Šefčovič also pointed out that in this fight greatly suffer the following countries: Russia, South America and North Africa. Global changes are quite evident in this realm and in this context Europe is compelled to prudently anticipate its energy future. At this meeting, Šefčovič also said that EU is a family of disheveled members in terms of both energy infrastructure and their perception of solidarity and responsibility for climate change, which means that putting the Energy Union concept into practice, i.e. creating specific policies, even in the EU, would be a great challenge. In this regard, Šefčovič encouraged all those in attendance to share their greatest challenges they face in their business. One of the pivotal problems mentioned was the lack of appropriate legal framework, no clear-cut energy policy in place, fluctuations of prices in the market, high prices of energy sources – gas, but also the inertia of government agencies, especially the Power Generation Ministry in tackling the problems pertaining to power generation in Serbia. It was also stressed that the inexistence of unequivocal policy of environment protection is reflected by the fact that even this Government has no dedicated ministry that would deal with this realm, which is quite demanding in terms of EU standards. Mirjana Nozic stressed that in its strategic approach and investments planning, NIS follows and complies with all EU standards, but that it is the opinion of the Company that there is a need to establish a better quality dialogue with Government representatives concerning plans to adopt EU legislature, especially in areas that might significantly affect our business performance – regulations pertaining to environment protection.