A group of leading NGOs active in the Balkan region  are calling for urgent reform of the Energy Community Treaty, as its Ministerial Council prepares to meet in Kiev on September 23rd . The groups are calling for both the expansion of the environmental and climate component of the Treaty and measures to ensure that existing obligations are better enforced.
“Energy Community Treaty reform is a once in a decade opportunity to garner support for the EU’s neighbours to meet EU climate and energy targets”, said Garret Tankosić-Kelly, Principal of SEE Change Net Foundation.
“The New Climate Economy report demonstrates that sustainable development is only attainable through the joint action of countries at all income levels, particularly in the energy sector which is still the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the Balkans,” added Dragana Mileusnic of CAN Europe.
Recent changes in the European Commission structure, where high priority has been given to the concept of an Energy Union, under Vice-President Alenka Bratušek, are expected to lead to the EU strengthening its cooperation with the Energy Community in the following years.
“Governments in Contracting Parties must give EU environmental law as much importance as EU energy rules. Only with the stronger environmental rules can we ensure the creation of a fair common energy market for the EU and the Energy Community,” said Malgorzata Smolak of Client Earth.
Weak enforcement of Energy Community rules set forth in the Treaty remains one of the major obstacles for their full implementation. Strengthening enforcement must be the top priority of the reform, while more EU environmental legislation needs to be included in the Treaty, NGOs concluded. They also expect to be more effectively engaged in the work of the Energy Community to ensure better transparency and public participation.
Dragana Mileusnic, CAN Europe Policy Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 471 438 442
Masha Durkalic, SEE Change Net Communications Officer, email@example.com, +387 63 999 827
 The NGOs are: SEE Change Net Foundation, Bosnia and Herzegovina ∙ Client Earth, Poland ∙ Front 21/42, Macedonia ∙ CAN Europe, Belgium ∙ Analytica, Macedonia ∙ Advocacy and Training Resource Center – ATRC, Kosovo ∙ CEKOR, Serbia ∙ Public Interest Advocacy Center – CPI, Bosnia and Herzegovina ∙ Center for Environment, Bosnia and Herzegovina ∙ DOOR, Croatia ∙ Environmental Center for Development, Education and Networking – EDEN, Albania ∙ Ekolevizja, Albania ∙ Eko-Svest, Macedonia ∙ Forum for Freedom of Education – FSO, Croatia ∙ Fractal, Serbia ∙ Green Home, Montenegro ∙ MANS, Montenegro ∙ World Wide Fund For Nature – Mediterranean Programme∙ CEE Bankwatch Network, Czech Republic.
 The Energy Community is an organisation set up to help the countries of the Western Balkans and the Black Sea region adopt and implement existent EU energy policies (EU Energy Acquis). The Ministerial Council is the highest decision-making body of the Energy Community and comprises of the energy Ministers from the Contracting Parties and representatives of the European Union.