This morning Valeriu Lazar, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of the Republic of Moldova, and Fatmir Besimi, Minister of Economy of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in his function as the Energy Community Presidency in Office, signed a protocol on the accession of Republic of Moldova to the Energy Community. Fabrizio Barbaso, Deputy Director General for Energy at the European Commission also attended the ceremony for the Vice- Precidency.
Moldova's accession was approved by the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community in December 2009, but the signature of the Accession Protocol was made subject to the adoption of a gas law in compliance with EU relevant rules. Today's signature follows the enactment of the new Moldovan gas law and publication on 12th February. Moldova is now expected to become a full member of the Energy Community as of 1st May 2010.
As a Party to the Treaty, Moldova will have to put in place a sound and transparent market structure in the field of energy, by implementing the core EU acts in this field. The Treaty will bring about long-term financial sustainability of the energy sector and improved investment climate. It will also boost regional integration and trade and will contribute to tackle climate change through promotion of energy from renewable sources and energy efficiency. "As a small country with restricted energy resources, there are no alternatives to regional co-operation. It is a long way to go, but Moldova is happy to be on board," stated Deputy Prime Minister Valeriu Lazar.
"By joining the Energy Community, Moldova is taking a decisive step towards aligning its market rules to EU standards, which will increase investors' interest and level of political trust.", added Minister Fatmir Besimi. "We are extremely proud of Moldova's performance and great commitment in reforming its laws, to stand at equal footing with the other seven Contracting Parties. We look forward to cooperating with the Moldovan authorities in the consolidation of the Moldovan legal framework and we are ready to assist them with the challenges related to the implementation in practice", stated Slavtcho Neykov, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat.
Chronology: The Energy Community Ministerial Council accepted Moldova as Observer to the Treaty in November 2006. In June 2007, the Energy Community Ministerial Council mandated the European Commission to lead the accession process. Starting November 2008, three negotiation rounds took place. The technical negotiations were concluded with the signature of a Memorandum in April 2009. In December 2009, the Ministerial Council agreed of the accession under the terms and conditions set out in the protocol.