AEM Updates August 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Sun, August 30, 2015 20:16:40
Declaration by the Chair of the Conference on the Western Balkans, Berlin, 28
hundred years after the outbreak of the First World War, the heads of
government, foreign ministers and economics ministers of Albania, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, the FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and
Slovenia, as well as representatives of the European Commission, the future
host Austria, and France, met in Berlin on 28 August 2014 for the first Conference
on the Western Balkans.
– 2018: four years of real progress
agree that today’s conference should provide a framework for a period of four
years, during which we will further our endeavours to make additional real
progress in the reform process, in resolving outstanding bilateral and internal
issues, and in achieving reconciliation within and between the societies in the
region. We are also united in the aim of enhancing regional economic
cooperation and laying the foundations for sustainable growth.
We have jointly decided to meet in the same format each year during the next
four years in order to implement the agenda agreed at today’s meeting and to
support this aim through other specific projects. The Federal Chancellor of
Austria has offered to host the first follow-up conference in his country in
2015. This will provide an opportunity to evaluate the initial results. We plan
to continue our work on questions of key importance to the future of the
Western Balkans on an ongoing basis during further conferences to be held until
path to a future in Europe
fifteen years ago, the news from the region was dominated by war, expulsions
and destruction. It is now apparent that the region has already made great
achievements as regards creating stability, developing good neighbourly
relations, and modernising government, society and the economy.
European Union’s enlargement policy has played a crucial role in these
achievements. All of the countries in the Western Balkans firmly believe that
their future lies in the European Union.
The German Government expressly underlines its support for the prospect of
European integration for the countries of the Western Balkans. All of the
countries of the Western Balkans will have an opportunity to join the European
Union if they meet the conditions for accession. Germany is aware of its
responsibility for a peaceful, stable and democratic future based on the rule
of law, and will continue to support the region on its path to this future.
Intensifying regional cooperation as an essential
6. All of
the participants underline the need to resolve outstanding bilateral questions
as quickly as possible in the interests of good neighbourly relations and
increased stability in the region. The prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo
reiterated their determination to revitalise the process of normalising
relations. The naming dispute between the FYR of Macedonia and Greece is one of
the outstanding bilateral issues. The participating States agreed that this
dispute must urgently be resolved by a willingness to compromise on all sides.
Where possible, the countries should make use of the positive influence of
regional neighbours on overcoming internal political challenges. This applies
in particular to the revitalisation of the reform process in Bosnia and
countries of the Western Balkans therefore stress their willingness today to
increase their cooperation among one another. Regional organisations such as
the Regional Cooperation Council will play an important role in this.
Regional cooperation shall also include the civil society level. In this
context, the participating States underlined their unanimous wish to expand
transnational exchange, particularly among young people.
Further improving governance remains a particular challenge for the young
democracies of the Western Balkans.
participating States agree that further measures must be taken to tackle
corruption and organised crime. The countries of the Western Balkans reiterated
their willingness to carry out further reforms aimed at increasing legal
certainty in their countries, to uphold and reinforce the independence of their
judiciary, and to work more intensively together across borders in regional and
In a pluralistic democracy, the opposition must also be able to play its role
in the parliamentary framework, and it must also want to do so. A politically
active civil society can also provide constructive support as regards the
further strengthening of democratic communities in the countries of the Western
Balkans, thus also bringing these states closer to the EU. The prerequisites
for this include a pluralistic media landscape, independent trade unions, and
an economy that can fulfil its role as part of the community, free from
political interference. Germany remains committed to fostering freedom of the
media in the region. To this end, the Federal Foreign Office is holding a
workshop for twelve leading journalists from all countries of the region as
part of the conference framework programme.
prosperity via sustainable economic growth
Sustainable economic growth and thus the sustainable increase of prosperity for
the good of citizens will only be possible via open markets and foreign
investment. A positive investment climate is particularly crucial to the
activities of small and medium-sized enterprises. Legal certainty and a
zero-tolerance policy on corruption are vital in this context. The
participating States aim to improve cooperation among.
investment agencies, as well as the way they communicate with Germany Trade
countries of the Western Balkans shall reinforce their endeavours to overcome
their current account deficits. German business will support the enhancement of
the region’s export strength by launching a purchasing initiative for the
Western Balkans in 2015.
Competitiveness must be further increased via regional value chains. In this
context, the initiative by the German business community to hold a regional
conference in Montenegro in September 2014 and the activities by the Regional
Cooperation Council in this area will make a concrete contribution.
participating States agree that European energy policy is of increasing
importance to the countries of the Western Balkans. Regional cooperation within
the framework of the Energy Community for South East Europe is an important
component, particularly as regards energy security, energy efficiency targets
and climate protection. The countries of the Western Balkans will continue to
work intensively on further developing the Energy Community and on overcoming
shortcomings in implementation.
16. The participating
States share the view that a transport community for the Western Balkans could
provide a positive impetus for economic development by improving the region’s
logistical connections to the European markets where demand is high. This is
also the case as regards the expansion of information and communications
technology infrastructure under reliable conditions.
participating States believe that needs-based academic and vocational training
is essential in order to reduce youth unemployment. Projects by the German
business community to support vocational training in the countries of the
Western Balkans are helping to meet this aim.
Germany is willing to carry out further measures within the framework of
existing programmes on economic cooperation and development in order to support
the region’s countries in making the most effective use of European measures
for bringing them closer to the EU via the Instrument for Pre-Accession
Assistance (IPA). German development cooperation has provided reliable support
to the countries of the Western Balkans for 25 years and is an integral part of
German endeavours to bring the countries closer to the EU and European
AEM Updates August 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Sun, August 30, 2015 09:14:59
Friends of ACERC,
With the here message we are pleasant to inform add
of Honduras as last newest visitor country of the ACERC Network!
In regard, it can highlight that we shared an average above 360 Visits/Day,
with a peak up to 495 Visits/Day! In less than three months, following with the
establishment of new Identification Tracing Method,
form 29 April 2015, the
area of distribution of our network covered about 82 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa,
the Americas and the South Pacific, including Australia.
In regard, to
a briefly resume on the work of Albania Centre for Energy Regulation and
Conservation - Acerc, as a think
tank centre, we focused in Albania energy market and its integration on
Regional & IEM. Acerc mission
aim to provide a qualified contribution in the promotion of the liberalization and
the effective integration as well as the efficient use of energy resources.
Our main activity profiles briefly consists
in release reports, articles and periodicals. In cooperation also with our
partners the offering of the activities that support capacity building of
market actors, such as national and regional seminars, trainings and
conferences. Initiatives completed by advocating in the energy sector to
promote a forum called in Albanian School of Regulation.
For more, in the above propose, we
want to invite to visit us at the Official Website of Acerc | Albanian Energy Market - AEM Group in LinkedIn.
Thanking for all the attention we are looking
forward to your collaboration!
following: the best is yet to come! :-)
Dr. Lorenc Gordani
AEM Updates August 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Sat, August 29, 2015 20:09:53
The celebration ceremony of the 10th anniversary of the Energy Community, marking the signing of the Energy Community Treaty, gathered together Prime Ministers, Ministers of Economy, Energy and Foreign Affairs, Members of the European Commission, Parliamentarians and other high level guests on 27 August in the State Hall of the Austrian National Library in Vienna.
Describing the evolution of the Energy Community in the first decade of its existence, Vice-President of the European Commission for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič explained: “From the regional pre-accession tool, the Energy Community has developed into an eminent instrument for our joint security of supply, for our debates on how to cooperate better...how to converge our legal and also infrastructural systems. It helped us to promote safe, secure and predictable production and transportation of energy in the closest EU neighbourhood ”. Referring to the energy challenges ahead, the Vice-President said: “The Energy Community would clearly play a very important pivotal role not only in the internal dimension but also in the external dimension of the Energy Union.”
In his keynote speech, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, representing the Albanian Presidency of the Energy Community, said: “In the face of volatile resource markets, climate change and political instability, the European countries will have to collaborate more closely with each other in an increasingly globalized energy world. These challenges do not stop at the borders of EU Member States, they are truly pan-European. The Energy Union must comprise Member States and Contracting Parties alike, and go even beyond the current borders of the Energy Community.”
Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine Valerii Voschevskyi, said: “We are committed to integrating Ukraine fully into the EU energy market via the Energy Community. Ukraine is stepping up its efforts to become a part of the European energy entity. We are pleased to admit that in line with the EU-Ukraine commitments to enhance energy security and energy cooperation Ukraine has approved a plan to reduce natural gas consumption by 2017 through improved energy efficiency”. He explained that Ukraine aims to increase its own gas production to 25 billion cubic meters per year and decreasing gas imports to 8 billion cubic meters per year by 2017. “Ukraine will fulfil all of its transit obligations in terms of the gas flow to the EU,” he stressed.
In his speech, Prime Minister of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić focused on the implementation of the Projects of Energy Community Interest (PECIs) and on the need for their adequate support.
The Western Balkans Summit, held on the same day, endorsed four PECIs for inclusion in the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance 2015 multi-country program, previously approved at the Western Balkans 6 Ministerial Meeting hosted by the Secretariat. Additional PECIs will be proposed for funding in subsequent years. The Western Balkans Summit also endorsed the list of priority legal and regulatory measures, i.e. 'soft measures’, to implement the Energy Community acquis and invited the Energy Community Secretariat to take the lead in developing the regional energy market and assist in the implementation of the soft measures. The Secretariat will report on the progress achieved at the next Western Balkans Summit in France in 2016.
The closing speeches were delivered by European Commissioner in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and Chairman of European Parliament Energy Committee and of the Energy Community High Level Reflection Group Jerzy Buzek.
AEM Updates August 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Sat, August 29, 2015 12:44:17
Prime Minister Edi Rama in the Civil Society Forum for the Western Balkans under the Vienna Summit:
It seems that Aleksandar made the fast part, and I am going to make the furious part starting from the very first remark I have to make. We are very happy to meet with the Civil Society, but we have not waited to come to Vienna to do it. We have been doing it all the time, on a daily basis, for many years, and I would happily see us and the Civil Society together to not tell each other in Vienna what one is doing better or worse, but what we together should tell you, the Commissioner, the EU, what they can do better for us. This would be good, because I very much want the Commission to listen to what the Civil Society has to say not only about how bad things are here and there, but how bad they feel about the EU. It is also something that has to be heard.
Secondly, I would say, you heard it, Serbia is a country that is struggling a lot to get out of a long process of stagnation, and problems and so on, and still it is about -1, -0.5, and 0.5 and then 1. And I am not going to tell you that Albania is a bit better, 2 point something, then something point 2, because the whole compared to what the people need is nothing point something. So, we are now in a moment that we have really to understand one thing: either we are in it altogether, or we can’t make it.
Look what’s happening with asylum seekers. They’re going from Serbia, they’re going from Macedonia and they’re going from all the Balkans. Why? Because, young people have no time to wait for another decade, and for another two decades, and we are not magicians. We cannot make for them right know what they aspire and what they see, and what the German model offers, and the EU offers at least through television.
We need to work together, and this Berlin Process has been fantastic because we have been together for only a year, and now look. We have spent long, long years for a short way and now, in a very short time, we made a long way. We are meeting today with Aleksandar, and this is not anymore historical. It’s just routine. Nobody is going to tell tomorrow “They met”, how he saw me, how I saw him, what our eyelashes told”. They will say: What did they bring from this meeting? Is anything additional in their pockets for us, or is it just good intensions? And this is the point. We need to give substance to this Berlin Process, because our economies are moving. Now, I’m not going to bore our dear President of Parliament and our dear President of the Erste Foundation, and all the Civil Society, honorable guests here, with how much progress we did, because this would be too boring for them, if not unnerving. So, I’m not going to say what progress we did. I’m going to say simply that the Balkans need a strategic approach from Europe. And if politically we have a strategic approach that started to be visible one year ago, now we need it financially.
So, I will conclude with a simple point. We have started, we have embarked on a reform of our educational system. We went from an educational system that was all based on the principle “go to university and become a lawyer”. We succeeded to have the largest number of lawyers for meter square in Europe. From a system based on dozens and dozens of universities that were private and were simply making you a lawyer by paying, but not necessarily by going to school, to a system that is dual. We want to implement in Albania the German dual system of vocational training, to give vocational training a lot of emphasis.
For two reasons. First, because this will qualify our workforce, will create real jobs, will make foreign investors feel much more comfortable coming to our country, and secondly because this people and go and work regularly in Germany or in other places in Europe where there is these types of works that are very much needed.
A year ago we tried to talk about it, before the Berlin meeting, and it seemed to be not very appealing. Today, this should be the point.
All these Länders in Germany that are suffering so much from this wave. Of course, we are not part of the biggest part of the wave. We are part of the smallest part of the wave, meaning the Balkans, because the biggest part is coming from other countries. But at least for the Balkans, they can simply adopt and tutor our vocational training schools, and it’s not costly. Of course, it needs some money, but it is far less costly than all these consequences, to finance a dual system in Albania and in the region, not simply for money but also to bring a “know-how”, and to make it as fast as possible by doing two things.
First, tell the young people: “Look, you don’t to go there and then be brought back. You need just to have your profession, and then you can just try. You can try it here, or you can try it there.” Simple. But the most important thing is that this will give people perspective.
One datum, and I stop it. Before the accession, in Bulgaria there were only 14% of people saying “we want to stay in Bulgaria”. All the rest wanted to leave. And you know how much they left from Bulgaria, from Romania, not to mention the other countries. Now, is it an answer to stay in this intermediate space? We are now candidates. But candidates, you know, it’s like “I want to get married but I have not yet someone wanting to marry me.” So, we need to go further, and we need to open negotiations, because it’s about telling people: “Our place is in Europe, Europe has rules, and we should play by the rules. But in the same time, playing by the rules is not going to keep us only under frustration and under isolation.” Playing by the rules will make us be part of the larger pitch. I mentioned the pitch before the football game, because I’m not going to play.
I want to say very simply that I have had the chance to be on both sides. I have been in Civil Society, hating to be in a diameter of 100 meters with any politician, and then I have gotten worse because I started to do politics.
I have a question. Don’t you think that we are comparing the incomparable, in the sense that don’t you think there is a structural change in the society that obliges to change a bit the view of civil society like a network of NGOs? Because today we are living in a space where practically society is much more vocal thanks to the social networks. Social networks have made practically possible for much more people than the professionals of workshops, seminars and conferences to say what they think. And don’t think that we are insensitive towards it.
We are much more sensitive, I think, today than the previous generations of politicians, not because we are better, in the sense that we are better people, but because we are obliged to be much more attentive. It’s about a much faster building-up of the public opinion through tools that are completely different. So, I would be careful in saying, in defining Civil Society today like the Civil Society we have in mind of the 90s, or of the first 10 years of 2000. Some NGOs that are gathering around and are doing things. Fine. I’m not saying that they are out fashioned, but I am saying that it’s a much broader notion.
Secondly, Civil Society has always had the conviction that it can fix the government. I don’t think that the government should fix Civil Society. What we can do, what we should do and what we do is to create the best conditions of freedom and possibility of interconnection. And then, what we have done for example in Albania in every decision-making process, for every bill, people from Civil Society, not simply NGOs but also people from interest groups, are heard. The amount of hearings that is being done today in the Albanian Parliament is going very high, sometimes eve too high.
Answering to this question, I think that we are fine with it. I want to let you know that we are working with the Serbian government. It’s not that we are waiting for the expertise to come from elsewhere. We are working, we are thinking about how to go through. I praise Commissioner Hahn for being very helpful with that, because he has been very helpful for us with his experience in regional cooperation. His knowledge has been our bless in that case. But I want to say simply that this process has done a miracle politically speaking. And it’s because of Europe, if we are today here, and we are in a scenery like this. One year ago this was quite impossible to be imagined. Now, it’s normal. This is the appealing side of the European project, and this is what has made us be all good to each other. We didn’t become angels. It’s like my dear friend, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia said, we are happy to say we don’t have any more open issues, now let’s talk economy. But, nobody should think that we are unable to have open issues again.
We need to strengthen economy. People want results. And, let’s face it. With the budgets we have, with the ceilings in the budgets we have, with the fiscal adjustments we need to have after so many long years of financial anarchy, and with the constraints we have, it’s impossible to meet people half way in their aspirations. So, it’s not about looking at Brussels like a money resource. It’s about combining. Imagine if Germany hadn’t unify right away. Imagine if Germany had been told “now you need to deal with benchmarks, and then let’s see how you have improved”, and so on. It wouldn’t have been the Germany we have today. Of course, I’m not saying that we should avoid benchmarks, that we should avoid priorities, that we should avoid all this integration process as such, because this is helpful for us. It’s the only tool of modernization we have.
But in the same time, you know, by not saying we want to become EU tomorrow, we want to be “E”. The “U” will come with the years, but at least be “E”. People living in the Balkans should feel that they are “E”, and they will be “U”, and EU, but they need to see it. And what are we talking about”?
We have been talking since the beginning with Aleksandar on the Nish-Pristina-Durres road. We are talking with Montenegro and Croatia about this Blue Highway, and several other projects. In terms of money it’s nothing point something compared to the huge financial potential, but in terms of what it will bring to the region it’s not just infrastructure. It’s hope and it’s economy.
Commissioner Hahn said something very, very important. It’s not a place that is somewhere out of Europe. It is in the middle of Europe. What does it mean connecting South Croatia, Montenegro and Albania through the Blue Highway? It means connecting EU itself, because Slovenia, Croatia and Greece are disconnected due to this missing road. What does it mean connecting Nish, Pristina and Durres? It means that the port of Durres becomes the port of everyone. And we want to see very much these things. In the same time, we will do our job, and I think we have to go also faster in the direction of building our own behavior like being part of Europe, by having an economic union, by erasing all tariffs and all barriers and all type of bureaucracy that we will have practically to erase when we are part of Europe. We can do it now. Nobody impedes us for this. We will go like that, but at the end we should not forget that people will want to touch to believe.
We are not the region of Jesus Christ. We are the region of Saint Thomas. If we don’t’ touch, we don’t believe.
Thank you very much!
The two-day EU - Western Balkans Summit started today in Vienna. The Vienna meeting of the leaders of the Western Balkan countries is part of the Berlin Process, which began a year ago, in order to strengthen dialogue and interaction based on concrete projects between the countries of the region and the region itself with the European Union.
On the first day, Prime Minister Rama was invited to the high-level panel of the Civil Society Forum for the Western Balkans organized by the Erste Foundation and Friedrich Herbert. The prime ministers of Albania, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria, Commissioner for Enlargement at the European Commission and representatives of civil society of the Western Balkans countries joined the Forum and discussed on the role and importance of civil society in social life and political decision making.
AEM Updates August 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Fri, August 28, 2015 09:05:30
The Energy Community – an international organisation that aims to extend the EU's internal energy market to South Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region – is celebrating its 10thanniversary.
At the official ceremony today, European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: "10 years ago, the Energy Community was established in order to better cooperate and integrate the energy markets of the Balkan countries with each other and with their neighbouring EU Member States. Over time, the Energy Community has developed from a regional pre-accession tool to an eminent instrument for our joint security of supply, carrying further our cooperation in the field of energy. "
With the EU’s plans for Energy Union, the Energy Community is set to play an increasingly important role. Cooperation between the EU and other Energy Community members will be strengthened with new proposals on security of energy supply, investments in energy infrastructure and reforming energy markets to bring them closer in to line with the EU’s energy market.
"The key challenge of the day is the so-called 'holy triangle': ensuring a secure supply of energy, which is competitive on the one hand and sustainable on the other," said the Vice President.
Maroš Šefčovič added: "Despite the successes in the past, or because of that, the Energy Community has to be upgraded. This is also recognised in the Energy Union framework strategy. In order to face our Community's challenges, we must look at how we can strengthen the Energy Community so that Contracting Parties are able to cooperate better with the EU Member States and to better integrate our energy grid across the entire European continent."
The Energy Community also plays a vital role in securing the transit of gas from Russia to Europe. With Ukraine and Serbia as its members – key countries to the transport of gas across the continent, the Energy Community provides the basis for strong cooperation.
The Energy Community contains the EU, represented by the European Commission, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine. Armenia, Georgia, Norway, and Turkey have observer status. The activities of the Energy Community cover gas, electricity, security of supply, renewable energy, oil, energy efficiency, environment and competition.
Speech by Maroš Šefčovič
AEM Updates August 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Fri, August 21, 2015 14:03:14
Offshore wind power costs fall in Europe, but will
they hit the magic number?
With Henry Edwardes-Evans and Anuradha Ramanathan
August 20, 2015 11:07:48 EST (08:37)
the video click
Costs are coming down for offshore wind
technology, but, as Henry Edwardes-Evans and Anuradha Ramanathan discuss in this video, the window of
opportunity is shrinking because subsidies are finite and development is
restricted. Indeed, the industry is on the cusp of industrial scale, but for it
to kick on and maximize savings the technology needs longer-term clarity on
deployment volumes in the major markets of the UK and Germany.
AEM Updates August 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Fri, August 21, 2015 09:56:38
RWE officially started operting its power-to-gas system in
Ibbenbüren in North Rhine-Westphalia on Monday. This is the first time a system
solution is being implemented for the efficient combination of local
electricity, natural gas and district heating supply.
Excess electricity produced by renewable sources will be
converted via electrolysis into hydrogen gas, which will then be methanised and
fed into the natural gas grid. The gas can thereafter be used again at a later
point of time for electricity production in a co-generation plant. This plant
has a electricity capacity of 150 kW and an efficiency of 86%.
The power-to-gas solution is
seen as a long-term key technology for the future of energy supply, according
to RWE. This solution makes it possible to respond immediately to fluctuations
in power supply from PV and wind power plants. Energy storage is hereby seen as
an indispensable element of future electricity systems, according to the CEO of
RWE Germany, Arndt Neuhaus, keeping in mind the 50% renewable energy target to
be reached by 2030 in Germany.
pv magazine recently published a Storage Special,
with in-depth features, interviews, market analysis and 20 of the most exciting
battery technologies of the moment.
AEM Updates August 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Wed, August 19, 2015 11:34:20Although the government reviewed the macro-economic indicators, the Minister of Economic Development, Arben Ahmetaj, said that the economy is progressing faster than expected. The economic growth is even higher than what was foreseen by the IMF, according to the Minister.
He added that tourism will influence the economic growth a lot, since it has reached record levels.
“For the first time Albania was unable to deal with the demand coming from tourist operators from the entire world. The problems with the energy were not new. They have been seen for the past 15-20 years. Certainly, we have seen this year less problems than before”, Ahmetaj declared.
Ahmetaj said that the Parliament will pass in September the law that the President rejected. As for the opposition’s accusations regarding tax evasion and corruption, the Minister voted a review of the budget.