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(E) Croatia joins EU renewable energy program
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  03/21/2006 | Environment | Unrated
(E) Croatia joins EU renewable energy program


Croatia joins EU renewable energy program


(Brussels, DTT-NET.COM) - Croatia is the first country from the Western Balkans region to join the program of EU on renewable energy as today it signed the participation memorandum with European Commission.

Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs and Croatian Vice Prime Minister, Damir Polančec signed today in Brussels a Memorandum of Understanding which paves the way for Croatia's participation in 'Intelligent Energy - Europe', the EU's programme to promote energy efficiency and the wider use of renewable energy sources.

For the first time, Croatian organisations will be able to take part in European projects and events financially supported by the programme. Commissioner Piebalgs welcomed the signature of this Memorandum of Understanding as a 'positive step towards stronger cooperation between Croatia and the UE in the field of Energy'.

With a total budget of €250 million, Intelligent Energy - Europe co-finances European projects, large-scale events, and the creation of local or regional energy management agencies in areas such as buildings, industry, transport, urban areas, consumer products, power and heat generation, and cooperation with developing countries.

So far, organisations from the EU Member States, plus Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Bulgaria and Romania could apply for financial support under the programme. Now, it will also be possible for Croatian organisations to submit applications under the next call for project
proposals, which will be published in May 2006 with a total budget of €55 million.

To date, the programme supports more than 200 European projects, over 30 energy management agencies, and 40 one-off events. The Commission has proposed an ambitious Intelligent Energy - Europe II programme, which will form part of the new 'Competitiveness and Innovation' Programme 2007-13. A decision on the details and final budget of this programme will be made later this year.

The Commission's 'Green Paper on Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy' underlines the need to develop a pan-European Energy Community. The EU has for some time been engaged in widening its energy market to include its neighbours and to bring them progressively closer to the
EU's internal market.

Croatia is one of the members of the Energy Community, which extends the Internal Market for Energy into South - East Europe. This means that the relevant acquis communautaire on energy, environment and competition will be implemented in that region.

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