Final Conference on “EU Energy Cooperation with Eastern Neighborhood and Central Asia”
Ministers, deputy-ministers and other high-ranking officials from INOGATE Partner Countries (PCs), Directors-General from the European Commission and European representatives of international financial organisations, energy agencies, the private sector, think tanks and academics gathered in Brussels, Belgium on 17 March 2016 to celebrate 20 years of INOGATE Programme activity in energy cooperation and to plan future action to further this cooperation. The event was organised by the European Commission, with support from the EU-funded INOGATE Technical Secretariat project.
The conference, “EU Energy Cooperation with Eastern Neighbourhood and Central Asia”, was opened with a keynote address by Mr Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. He presented energy as “a key to stabilisation but also fundamental to economic development, competitiveness, social development and the quality of the daily lives of citizens.” The address was followed by two high-level panel discussions, one on energy security and sustainability, the other on energy investments. In closing the morning session, Mr. Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for Energy Union of the European Commission described the conference as “representing the turning of a new page in our energy cooperation”. He added “by no means will we loosen our cooperation – but the mechanisms will be updated. We are concluding a very successful programme and introducing a new one to replace it. We are about to launch the follow-up to INOGATE in two months' time to last until 2020 with a budget of €21 million. The new programme will reflect the current reality and we are making sure it is future-proof”.
Breakout sessions in the afternoon gave delegates the opportunity to discuss various aspects of INOGATE’s activities over the years: evidence-based policy making using energy statistics, empowering consumers by raising awareness on energy efficiency, energy markets and tariffs, attracting investment and energy regulation. Speakers from Partner Countries described their experiences in improving these aspects of energy cooperation with the help of the INOGATE Programme over the years.
An exhibition and networking area gave delegates the opportunity to network and find out the latest information on energy projects in the Partner Countries, as well as interacting with country delegates.