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Brussels, 18 December 2009

Ukraine and Moldova to accede to the Energy Community upon amendments of their gas laws

The 7 th Energy Community Ministerial Council approved today the accession of Ukraine and Moldova to the Energy Community; accession will be effective when and if these countries solve the remaining gaps and make their gas laws comply with the EU acquis requirements and complete their respective ratification procedures.

"The accession of Ukraine and Moldova to the Energy Community Treaty will catalyse energy sector reforms in these countries which will result in a mutually beneficial enlarged energy market based on common rules. This could help in particular Ukraine, an important transit country, to upgrade its infrastructure. The enlargement process plays an important role in reaching the EU's energy security objectives and contributes to the security of these countries. I am looking forward to the swift adoption of the gas law by the Parliaments of both Ukraine and Moldova" stated Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

Before signing the accession Protocol, the President of the Energy Community shall, in agreement with the Vice-President representing the European Community, verify that a law on the gas sector is adopted and enacted which complies with Directive 2003/55/EC.

“The gas crisis at the beginning of this year taught us all clear lessons. Putting infrastructural and institutional setting concerns apart, following the Treaty obligations in real terms is a challenge and Ukraine, which is a key gas partner, and Moldova have to be well prepared for it. We shall follow the procedure as decided and thus support its rapid completion” , noted Slavtcho Neykov, Director of Energy Community Secretariat.

The Ministerial Council also discussed the extension of the area of work of the Energy Community. In order to exploit the vast potential in the region, the ministers decided to extend the Treaty acquis to three EU energy efficiency Directives. Promotion of energy efficiency is greatly dependent on a solid legal framework. The three new energy efficiency Directives address energy end-use efficiency and energy services, energy performance of buildings and labelling and are to be transposed into national legislation by December 2011. As soon as a legal framework is in place, special support incentives can be launched. A rule of law with defined authorities will also make the donors involvement easier and result in increased technical assistance programmes.

The 7 th Ministerial Council also took stock of the Energy Community dispute settlement mechanism, which enables private bodies to file a case against a government in case of non-compliance of its Treaty obligations. According to the Secretariat’s report, the mechanism has proven to be crucial for the enforcement of Energy Community law. So far five cases have been brought to the attention of the Secretariat.

As a signal of its political will, the 7 th Ministerial Council also urged the national TSOs to take affirmative action and move on with the establishment of the Coordination Auction Office.

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