Executive summary of the 6th Interim Progress Report
During the 6th Interim period the project finalized the development of the new strategy for the project which would apply during an extension period until the end of April 2016. A contract addendum was signed on January 5th, 2015. The strategy changed the project’s approach from being one that was driven by active demand for Technical Assistance from the Partner Countries to one involving activities being prepared and then implemented to execute the strategy.
The European Commission shared the new strategy with the Partner Countries in a communication of September 3, 2014 and also emphasised that there was a limited budget which would constrain the number of activities that could be implemented.
After the submission of the strategy, the project team started to draft a Regional Work Plan and Country Work Plans in line with the strategy. These work plans were sent out to the Partner Countries in the week before the October 22nd 2014 Annual Meeting of Country Coordinators in Brussels.
While the strategy was endorsed at the Annual Meeting, this event also served the purpose of being the first consultation with the Partner Countries on the Regional and Country Work Plans. During November and December the work plans were fine-tuned based upon comments received from Partner Countries and were then sent out for final observations with a deadline of January 12th, 2015.
The European Commission provided their final comments to the work plans and the accompanying budget in a meeting in Brussels on January 27th, 2015 after which 8 of them were finalized ready to be provided to Partner Countries in early February. Due to the difficult political situation, it has not yet been possible to finalise the Country Work Plan for Ukraine.The work plans, which prioritise the activities (e.g. Priority 1 and 2) highlight the importance of working with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, also describe a number of activities involving Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus and offer support to countries in Central Asia by means of the Regional Work Plan activities. The work plans emphasise the significance of working in the electricity and gas sectors, on energy efficiency in the building sector as well as industry, promoting the use of renewable sources of energy and the continuation of technical assistance in energy statistics in order for all the Partner Countries to understand, appreciate and to the extent possible adopt European Union energy policies.