The Energy Community’s biggest annual power event – the 21st Electricity Forum – took place on 1-2 June in Athens. This was also the last milestone event before the Paris Summit of the Western Balkans 6 Initiative on 4 July. The forum was marked, among other things, by the signing ceremony of the agreement on South East European Coordinated Auction Office (SEE CAO) membership by the Macedonian power transmission system operator MEPSO – fulfilling one of the country’s Western Balkans 6 ‘energy soft measures’.

The Forum welcomed the progress made in implementing the obligations agreed under the Western Balkans 6 initiative. It also commended the recently signed WB6 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as an important step to move ahead with market reforms and integration that set the path for the implementation of concrete projects in the spheres of market coupling and cross-border balancing. However, the forum raised concerns about the persisting legal and regulatory barriers to electricity trading, balancing and infrastructure financing in South East Europe.

In addition, the forum tackled the challenges for energy systems, markets and grid operators arising from decentralised generation of electricity mainly from renewable sources and the need for an enhanced role of citizens as enablers of this energy transition.

The Secretariat outlined its proposals for reform of the Energy Community that would ensure more efficient enforcement of Energy Community law and reciprocity of common acquis between Energy Community Contracting Parties and EU Member States. The forum called for the incorporation of Network Codes as well as EU Regulation on energy market integrity and transparency into the Energy Community acquis.