Vienna, 18 December 2009 – Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger and Economy and Energy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner welcome today’s decision of the Ministerial Council meeting of the Energy Community in Zagreb, which gave its go-ahead to full membership for the Republic of Moldova and the Ukraine in the Vienna-based Energy Community. In this context, the effective implementation of the obligations entered by Moldova and the Ukraine remains of utmost importance for Austria and the European Union, in particular the adoption of the acquis communautaire in the gas sector, in view of its significance for Europe's energy supply security. In addition, the understanding reached as part of a memorandum between the European Union and the Ukraine in 2005, according to which highest priority will be given to nuclear safety by both sides, was reaffirmed as the essential guiding principle in their mutual relationship.
The accession of the Ukraine and Moldova to the Energy Community is an important step in the further rapprochement of these two states to the European Union, which has already developed common strategic initiatives with these as part of the Eastern Partnership, especially in the energy sector. With this enlargement, the Energy Community is creating important impulses toward stronger integration of the economies and energy markets of South Eastern Europe, the Black Sea Region, and the European Union, including their opening and liberalization, while at the same time promoting political and economic reforms in the two new member states.
The treaty establishing the Energy Community was signed in 2005 in Athens, its objective being to integrate the energy markets of South Eastern Europe and to bring this region closer to the acquis communautaire of the European Union in the areas of energy, environment, competition, renewable energy sources and EU standards in general. Currently the European Union, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and the UNMIK are already full members to the treaty. Accession negotiations with the Republic of Moldova were completed on 29 April, those with the Ukraine on 7 October 2009, and subject to the duration of the legal admission procedure, the accession of the two states could become effective somewhere during the second half of 2010. Austria and other European Union member states have a participant status, while Georgia, Norway, and Turkey have an observer status; Austria provides the seat of the Energy Community in Vienna.
Federal Ministry for
European and international Affairs
Spokesperson of the Foreign Minister
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3265
Fax: ++43 (1) 535 50 91
Ministry of Economics, Family and Youth
Ms. Waltraud Kaserer
Spokeswoman of the Minister
Tel.: (01) 711 00-5108