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Saturday, 06. September 2014. 00:00

Regional Parliamentary Conference commenced in Budva

Regional Parliamentary Conference, under the topic ″The role of parliaments in the oversight of energy policies and investments in the energy sector in the Western Balkans countries″ commenced today in Budva

Vice-President of the Parliament of Montenegro, Mr Suljo Mustafić, opened the Conference and in his opening speech stressed the need to strengthen regional cooperation in the energy sector, pointing out that the establishment of a stable regulatory and market environment was the key prerequisite for attracting investments in the energy sector. In addition, Vice-President Mustafić stressed that the issue of strengthening regional cooperation in the energy sector was discussed at the conference on the Western Balkans, recently held in Berlin, and that this meeting was a real opportunity for members of parliaments of the Western Balkans to exchange opinions regarding the definition of best practices of supervision over the implementation of energy policies.

The Conference, with members of parliaments of the Western Balkans taking part, is being held in the framework of the activities of the Network of Parliamentary Committees for Economy, Finance and European Integration of the Western Balkans, which is currently chaired by Mr Aleksandar Damjanović, member of the Parliament of Montenegro, with the support of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

During the first panel under the topic: ″Energy Agreement and the Third Energy Package - separation - legislative changes and legislative challenges for parliaments of the Western Balkans″, the following participants spoke: Ms Vesna Borozan, former MP and the Professor of Power Systems at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje; Ms Željka Tomić, the Head of Legal Affairs Service at the Energy Regulatory Agencyof Montenegro; Mr Mirza Kušljugić, university professor and the member of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ms Aleksandra Tomić, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy at the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.

Chairman of the Network of Parliamentary Committees for Economy, Finance and European Integration of the Western Balkans and of the Committee on Economy, Finance and Budget of the Parliament of Montenegro, Mr Aleksandar Damjanović, participated as a panelist during the second session, under the topic "Future sustainable energy solutions, legislative solutions and the overview of best practices". He reminded of the fact that the holding of the regional conference of parliamentarians, with the participation of representatives of the executive authorities, as well as academic and business communities in these areas, with the aim of concretizing activities to strengthen regional economic cooperation, was one of recommendations of the trilateral meeting of members of parliamentary committees competent for the energy sector of the Parliament of Montenegro, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska, held in Trebinje, in March this year. Mr Damjanović, inter alia, stressed the need to strengthen parliamentary oversight of energy policies and investments in energy, in order for these, according to previous practice, not to be defined and implemented inside small circles of the executive authorities and the business sector. In addition, Mr Damjanovićhas emphasized the need to continue the activities of the establishment of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Energy Community, the idea jointly presented by members of parliaments of the Western Balkans, in July this year, at the headquarters of the Energy Community in Vienna.

The panelists during the second session were also Mr Arben Dhima, the Head of the Department for Energy Policy and Development of the Ministry of Energy and Industry of Albania; Mr Saša Bošković, MP and member of the Committee on Economy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and Ms Dragica Sekulić, Director of the Directorate for Energy Efficiency in the Ministry of Economy of Montenegro.

Aside from the MP Damjanović, the following members of the Committee, as well as representatives of the Parliament, will participate in the conference: Mr Filip Vuković, Mr Almer Kalač and Mr Mladen Bojanić.

The Conference will be continued tomorrow, at the Hotel Splendid, at 9.00.

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