The Energy Community is to be congratulated for having formally “opened its doors” to civil society organizations by holding an inaugural Civil Society Open Day.
Even prior to the establishment of this legal norm it should be recognized that the Energy Community Secretariat has made greater efforts in recent years to include the views of civil society organisations, and we encourage it to continue and formalise greater public participation in its work.
We have restated for the record on several occasions the EU’s own guiding principles on CSOs, that “an empowered civil society is a crucial component of any democratic system and is an asset in itself. It represents and fosters pluralism and can contribute to more effective policies, equitable and sustainable development and inclusive growth.They embody a growing demand for transparent and accountable governance”.
In order to benefit from CSOs’ experience and competence, we encourage the Secretariat to grant full access to all the Task Forces and Coordination Groups within the Energy Community. Judging from the positive outcomes of CSOs’ contributions to the Task Force on Environment, Energy Efficiency Coordination Group and the Permanent High Level Group, as well as the hosting of the SEE 2050 Energy Model by the Energy Community Secretariat, it is clear that CSOs can make a valuable contribution, while the process itself would ensure transparency of functioning of the Energy Community’s institutions and bodies.
In advance of the first Civil Society Open Day we are providing this structured briefing note to help aid discussion at the event. What follows is a brief elaboration of the key recommendations from the undersigned CSOs for the continuing reform of the Energy Community Legal Framework.
The briefing is signed by 24 CSOs and is available for download here