STRASBOURG – The European Union wants to use the Energy Community to integrate Ukraine, Moldova and Western Balkan countries as well as other neighbouring states into the European energy system, European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič told New Europe in Strasbourg.

“I was saying since the start of our work on Energy Union that it doesn’t stop at the borders of the European Union because it is quite clear that if we want to increase our energy security we have to have very good cooperation and a relationship with our neighbours and we see how important it is for Ukraine, how important it is for Moldova, but we also see how our energy security could be further enhanced if we cooperate very well with countries like Azerbaijan or Georgia because of the Southern Gas Corridor,” Šefčovič said in an interview in Strasbourg on November 15. The Eastern Partnership was discussed at the European Parliament plenary a day earlier.

“So what we propose is to use Energy Community for making sure that these countries like, for example, Ukraine or Moldova or Western Balkan countries they gradually adopt through Energy Community the EU legislation which makes their energy markets much more compatible with European markets and make them much better integrated into the European system,” Šefčovič said.

The Vice President noted that the European Commission also supporting through, for example, CESEC Initiative (Central and South-Eastern Europe Gas Connectivity) in Southeast Europe different interconnectors between EU member states and neighbouring countries. “We’re using different instruments like PCI (Projects of Common Interests) for EU member states and PCI for our neighbours and we’re also promoting through these different mechanisms also reforms in those countries and I think that especially in Ukraine how the energy market is actually transformed thanks to embracing and integrating EU legislation into the Ukrainian system,” Šefčovič said.

Asked about the role of Russia in the region, the Commission Vice President for Energy Union stressed that it is “up to those countries to decide and see that much more opportunities to make their energy systems and energy laws compatible with the EU not only because of the issues of energy security but because our laws have clearly modernising character for their energy markets, we’re pushing for unbundling, de-monopolisation, more competition in the market, market coupling and better interconnectors and stronger regional cooperation so this is something which is appealing for these countries and therefore they prefer to work on these matters so closely with the European Union”.