National and regional cooperation on energy policymaking is indispensable

A recent WEC Slovenia event looked at why interconnected energy policymaking is so important for the European energy sector.

The conference, “Energy Policy Consideration – the urgency of international cooperation”, gathered national and regional energy experts and decision-makers in Ljubljana on 19 May to discuss the status of Europe’s energy policy and the improvements required. Slovenia 2014 policy conference

The idea behind the conference is that as economies become more interdependent globally, and as Europe becomes exposed to increasing global competition, Europe more than ever before needs a “stable long-term energy direction”, said Dr Franc Žlahtič, chair of WEC Slovenia, who added that Europe still has a lot of work to do on this.

This issue was the focus of WEC Slovenia event: “We outlined common European energy strategies, which are being reflected through legislation, energy and climate goals, and cooperation with third countries [non members of the EU],” Dr Žlahtič said.  However, he added that the economic conditions and energy policies of the 28 EU member states differ greatly. Meanwhile, examples throughout the EU have shown that unilateral measures of individual countries do have an impact on the situation in neighbouring countries. Therefore, cross-border energy industry cooperation is indispensable, he said. This applies particularly to European countries who share a border with countries with important energy resource reserves and infrastructure for the transportation energy products.

Five Slovenian and 13 foreign energy experts and decision-makers discussed the urgency of cooperation in national and European energy policymaking processes. They agreed that energy programmes should not be restricted to national or EU borders. In addition, any successes from the drafting and implementation of national energy policies that is done without dialogue with neighbouring countries and regions will only be short-term. Constructive cooperation of countries in energy policymaking is indispensable.

These messages echo the findings of the WEC report, World Energy Trilemma, which finds that connecting policymaking across regions and government departments can result in a greater chance of success in fulfilling the triple challenge of the energy trilemma.

This year’s Slovenia conference was the latest of the international panel discussions organized by the WEC Slovenian member committee and the Energy Industry Chamber of Slovenia under the title “Energy Policy Considerations”.

A summary of the first conference, held in September 2013, can be found here: “Let the markets decide on renewables, WEC Slovenia conference told”

Additional information about the conference series available at: www.energypolicyconsideration.si

The five Slovenian and 13 foreign energy experts at the 2014 event include: Hans van Steen, Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission; Einari Kisel, Regional Manager, Europe, World Energy Council; Bojan Kumer, State Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Spatial Planning; Prof. Jean Michel Glachant, Director of the Florence School of Regulation and Director of Loyola de Palacio Energy Policy Programme; Prof. Anna Galkina, Oil and Gas Sector Development Department for Russia and the World, The Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Dr. Romana Jordan, Member of the EU Parliament; Gerald Stang, The European Union Institute for Security Studies – EUISS; Stefan Ulreich, adviser of Political and Regulatory Affairs, E.ON and adviser to the WEC-Vice Chair for Europe; Beate Raabe, Secretary General, EUROGAS; Goran Granič, Director of the Energy institute Hrvoje Požar, Zagreb; France Križanič,  Marko Senčar,Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators – ACER; Slavtcho Neykov, energy expert, Bulgaria; Marjan Eberlinc, Energy Industry Chamber of Slovenia; and Krešimir Bakić, CIGRÉ–CIRED.