Brussels, 10 September 2009
European Commission opens negotiations with Turkey upon accession to the Energy Community
On 9 September 2009, a Turkish delegation lead by Mr Yusuf Yazar, Deputy Undersecretary for Energy, met in Vienna with a European Commission negotiating team headed by Mr Fabrizio Barbaso, Deputy Director General for Energy, for a first negotiating session in view of Turkey's accession to the Energy Community Treaty. "Turkey is carrying out fundamental reforms in order to address its huge energy challenge. Turkey is well prepared and has an important role to play in the Energy Community. I hope that the negotiations will proceed swiftly and could be concluded in the coming months" commented Commissioner Piebalgs.
The first negotiating session focused on the progress of reforms in the Turkish energy sector and the related legislative changes for the implementation of the Energy Community Treaty. The meeting allowed for a comprehensive review of the requirements to be met in relation with the Turkish energy sector policy and reflected the advanced state of reforms in Turkey, in particular in the electricity sector.
After the signature in Ankara on 13 July 2009 of the Intergovernmental Agreement regarding the Nabucco Project (IP/09/1114), the opening of negotiations concerning Turkey's accession to the Energy Community Treaty represents an important milestone in the EU-Turkey energy cooperation.
Following a decision taken by the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community, on 15 July 2008 the Council of the European Union mandated the European Commission to carry out negotiations with Turkey (as well as with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova).
In its Second Strategic Energy Review adopted on 12 November 2008 (IP/08/1696) and thereafter endorsed by the European Council, the European Commission indicated that "the accession of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Turkey to the Energy Community would catalyse their energy sector reforms and result in a mutually beneficial enlarged energy market based on common rules".
The Energy Community Treaty entered into force on 1 July 2006. Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo pursuant to UNSCR 1244, and the European Community are parties to this Treaty. Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Norway and Georgia have currently the status of Observers.
The general objective of the Energy Community is to create a stable regulatory and market framework in order to:
Create an integrated energy market allowing for cross-border energy trade and linked to the EU market ;
Enhance the security of supply;
Attract investment in power generation and networks in order to ensure stable and continuous electricity supply;
Improve the environmental situation in relation with energy supply.
In order to pursue these objectives, the main instrument of the Energy Community Treaty is the implementation of key sections of the EU acquis. Contracting parties have the obligation to implement these instruments within specific timeframes