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Tbilisi hosts political dialogue on energy issues

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, March 1
Tbilisi hosted a political dialogue on energy issues, held within European Union (EU) energy cooperation program INOGATE, on February 25.

The main speakers during the discussion were Deputy Minister of Energy of Georgia Mariam Valishvili, the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia Janos Herman, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat KOPAC Janez, and Project Director INOGATE Technical Secretariat Peter Larsen.

In addition, representatives from Parliament, the Ministry of Energy, other relevant Ministries, IFIs and donor organizations, GNERC (Regulator) and Relevant Energy organizations, and a number of NGOs were in attendance.

The participants spoke about the European Energy Community and the EU Association Agreement, and also prospects of future cooperation.

Valishvili stated that Georgia will become a member of European Energy Community in September.

“We had planned to join the community last year; however, negotiations did not develop as was planned. Other EU countries which joined the community did not have to meet any kind of requirements, while Georgia had to fulfill different obligations before joining,” stated Valishvili.

Herman stated that joining the European Energy Community will benefit the process of the fulfillment of Association Agreement requirements.

Participants of different nationalities shared the experiences of different countries. Janez spoke about what to expect after joining the Energy community (namely implications towards the economy, consumers, security of supply, investment climate, and the specifics of Georgia, such as having no land borders with the EU).

INOGATE is one of the longest running energy technical assistance programmes funded by the European Union. It started in 1996 and works within the policy frameworks of the Baku Initiative and the Eastern Partnership. INOGATE cooperates with 11 Partner Countries to support a reduction in their dependency on fossil fuels and imports, improve the security of their energy supply and mitigate overall climate change.