By Henrik Uehlecke
The EU funded project “Support on Implementing the 3rd Energy Package with Focus on Energy Efficiency and Renewables“ supports Kosovo municipalities with
their development and implementation of municipal energy efficiency actions plans (MEEAPs).
On 19 September 2018 the project organized together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) the first Conference of Mayors in the Republic of Kosovo.The aim of the conference was to inform all relevant stakeholders on governmental policies and European Union support for the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions on municipal level in Kosovo, as well as to bring together the mayors from all Kosovo municipalities and other interested parties.
In their opening speeches, Ambassador Nataliya Apostolova, Head of EU Office in Kosovo/ EU Special Representative, and Minister Valdrin Lluka, Ministry of Economic Development, emphasized the importance of the energy sector and its reforms in Kosovo, which remain key priority for the European Union in the country. Energy efficiency is at the core of these reforms and thus the Ministry of Economic Development is paying significant attention to the topic. Kosovo, as a signatory to the Energy Community Treaty, is determined to contribute to the achievement of the country’s energy efficiency targets. Municipalities play a pivotal role to achieve these targets because they administer a large number of public buildings such as schools, family medicine centers, various administrative buildings, and public lighting.
In the first session of the conference, representatives from the Energy Community Secretariat in Vienna and the Covenant of Mayors Office in Brussels outlined examples of European policy measures and best practices for successfully implementing municipal energy efficiency actions. In the second session, a representative from the City of Freiburg, Germany outlined the manifold steps Freiburg undertook since the early 1980s to become a frontrunner in energy efficiency and smart city solutions.
As part of the project’s support to the Kosovo municipalities, three study tours to Freiburg, Germany will take place in October and November 2018. In addition, the EU-funded project in cooperation with GIZ developed a training program on municipal energy management for energy managers, which will be carried out with the support of the Association of Kosovo Municipalities as of the end of 2018. Another major component of the EU-funded project’s support to municipalities is the establishment of the Kosovo Energy Efficiency Fund. The Fund shall act as vehicle to financially support the implementation of energy efficiency projects in municipal (public) buildings and infrastructure (street lighting and water supply).
Upon conclusion of the Conference, all mayors were invited to sign the Energy Charter of Mayors of Kosovo developed by the project. The Energy Charter illustrates
the importance and commitment of Kosovo municipalities and mayors to improve comfort levels, living conditions and energy and electricity use on municipal level by implementing energy efficiency
and renewable energy projects and thus to reduce environmental pollution in the country.
> More information about the conference
> Visit the project website
> GFA project description