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Slovakia

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2004 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 703 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 511 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 711 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1754 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1410 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1209 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

In its Opinion of July 1997, the European Commission expressed the view that Slovakia would have to make more effort in order to comply with most of the EC energy legislation in the next few years. In particular, matters such as the adjustment of monopolies (including import and export issues), access to networks, energy pricing, the establishment of mandatory oil stocks, State intervention in the solid fuels sector, energy efficiency and fuel quality standards needed to be closely monitored. With regard to nuclear energy, the Commission did not foresee any major difficulties for compliance with Euratom provisions. However, nuclear safety required continued attention, and the issue of safety standards should be tackled appropriately and realistic programmes implemented quickly. Longer-term solutions for waste should also be examined.

The November 1998 Report confirmed that Slovakia needed to do more to prepare for the internal energy market, particularly in the sectors identified in the Opinion. The report highlighted the field of nuclear safety and urged Slovakia to monitor the proper operation of the safety authority, focusing particularly on its independence. Longer-term solutions for nuclear waste also needed attention.

The October 1999 Report stated that although Slovakia had made progress towards meeting the requirements of the internal market, more work was required both with regard to legislation and the liberalisation of the market. In September 1999, the Slovak Government decided that the two Bohunice V1 reactors would be shut down in 2006 and 2008 respectively. Following this decision, the Commission was able to grant financial assistance under the Phare programme and Euratom loans. A closure plan had to be adopted, and a modernisation plan implemented for the two units at Bohunice V2.

In its November 2000 Report, the Commission expressed the view that Slovakia has made some progress in the field of energy, in particular by adopting, in January 2000, the new Energy Policy which provides the basis for alignment on the acquis. The decommissioning of the Bohunice VI reactor is in progress. In 2000, the Slovak authorities prepared a Report on the economic and social consequences of the early closure of the Bohunice nuclear power plant, including a preparation plan. Work still remains to be done, however, to satisfy the acquis in this area.

In its November 2001 Report, the Commission found that Slovakia had continued to make progress in the energy sphere, in particular as regards strategic oil reserves, preparations for the internal market and the improvement of nuclear safety. Progress still needed to be made, in particular as regards energy efficiency, since the Commission had not detected any significant progress in this area.

The October 2002 Report emphasized that Slovakia had made further progress in aligning its energy legislation with the EC acquis. In particular progress has been made in the field of the internal energy market, including setting up the necessary regulatory body.

The 2003 Report concludes that Slovakia needs to continue to progressively build up oil stocks in line with the schedule agreed during the negotiations, to continue its efforts to respect the closure commitments for the Bohunice nuclear power plant and continue to open up the electricity and gas markets as planned.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

The key elements of the energy acquis consist of Treaty provisions and secondary legislation concerning in particular competition and State aid, the internal energy market (including directives on electricity, price transparency, gas and electricity transit, hydrocarbons, the granting of licences, emergency response and security stock obligations), nuclear energy, energy efficiency and environmental protection provisions.

The Community acquis in the field of nuclear energy consists of a framework of legal and political instruments including international agreements. At present, it addresses issues of health and safety, including radiation protection, safety of nuclear installations, management of radioactive waste, investment, promotion of research, nuclear common market, supplies, safeguards and international relations.

The White Paper (preparing the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe for their integration in the internal market of the European Union) stresses in the section on energy the need for full application of key internal market directives in combination with EU competition law. As regards the nuclear sector, the White Paper refers to supply problems, safeguards and shipments of nuclear waste.

EVALUATION

A legislative framework for strategic oil reserves entered into force in June 2001. This framework constitutes the legal basis for an increase in stocks up to a level corresponding to 90 days of consumption, as required by the acquis. Nevertheless, efforts should continue to be made to increase reserves since they amount to only one-third of the required level.

With regard to the establishment of the internal energy market, Slovakia has made progress in the electricity and gas sectors and has taken additional steps to align with the acquis. The privatisation of the gas and electricity State enterprises is continuing. However, the preparations for the market still necessitate new measures, in particular as regards legislation and restructuring. The measures required include the establishment of a transport network operator.

The opening of the electricity market is proceeding in two stages. Following the entry into force in 2002 of the Ministry of Economy decree laying down the smallest volume of annual electricity and gas consumption for eligible customers, initial market opening of the electricity market started in 2002 with liberalisation for the largest consumers (corresponding to 31% of the market). The regulatory body, the Network Industry Regulatory Office, whose task is to oversee the gas and electricity markets, is established but needs to be further strengthened.

As regards energy efficiency and renewable energy, Government decrees aiming at improving energy efficiency through the labelling of electrical household appliances entered into force in 2002. Legislation was in place in 2003, with the exception of the newest acquis, which should be transposed according to the timetables provided for in the directives concerned.

In the field of nuclear energy, Slovakia operates two nuclear power plants located at Bohunice and Mochovce. Two of the four units at Bohunice have been classified as non-upgradable, and must be shut down. The Government has drawn up a decommissioning plan. In the case of Mochovce, the two reactors should be upgraded and nuclear safety measures should be taken. Slovakia has made progress in this area. In November 2000 it adopted the framework procedure and timetable for the decommissioning of the two Bohunice units which cannot be upgraded. The Slovak authorities have taken additional measures as regards nuclear safety in the other two units. The programme to improve safety compared with the Mochovce nuclear power station has been completed for half the power station, with the exception of post-accident monitoring. The EU Council adopted a report in June 2001 on nuclear safety in the context of enlargement. This report advocates seven specific measures for Slovakia which has accepted the report's recommendations.
The two V1 reactors of Bohunice Nuclear Power Plant are subject to early closure commitments. In 2003, Slovakia confirmed its commitment to closing Unit 1 of the Bohunice V1 nuclear power plant by 2006, and Unit 2 by 2008. Slovakia should continue to pay particular attention to further strengthening the capacity of its radioactive waste management agency currently being established.

In addition, since the last report, Slovakia has reinforced the Slovak Nuclear Regulatory Authority and its expertise has been regarded as satisfactory by third-party bodies. It must also ensure full compliance with Euratom requirements and procedures, in particular preparations for the implementation of Euratom safeguards and reporting for the movement of nuclear materials and inventories.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

 
Last updated: 10.03.2004
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