Addressing the participants of the founding meeting of the Serbian Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum, National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic said that it is an example of modern networking and exchange of information and initiatives among those who can help the development of our energy policy.
Dacic said that energy policy today is a top priority with any country, one that intertwines issues from the spheres of security, diplomacy, the economy, even public health and environmental protection. The National Assembly Speaker stressed the importance of the fact that the Forum is made up from a wide range of participants - from the Parliament, Government, competent agencies, public and other companies, local self-governments, non-governmental sector, with the common goal to help the decision makers make decisions that are in the best interest of our country by constantly exchanging information and initiatives.
In her opening address, the Chairperson of the of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending Dr Aleksandra Tomic briefed the attendees on the Forum’s work and results achieved since its foundation in 2015. She stressed that the working body continuously monitors international movements and changes in the world, which, she said, are of exceptional importance as we are surrounded by restrictions, i.e. increasing costs when it comes to environmental protection, and decreasing energy reserves. She pointed out that the activities of the Forum are complementary with the activities of other institutions, adding that it represents an ideal platform for generating information, ideas and knowledge and creating advanced policies. Tomic reminded the attending that the National Assembly House, Presidency of the Republic of Serbia and the Palace of Serbia, in cooperation with the German Development Agency GIZ, had received energy passports with the idea that these important institutions launch a reconstruction of their facades and become energy efficient buildings and an example of good practice and investment into the sector.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy Prof. Dr Zorana Mihajlovic said that this year is expected to bring fundamental changes in Serbia’s energy policy and energy transition, through amendments to relevant legislation. She pointed out that amendments to the Energy Law and the Law on Mining and Geological Research, as well as two new laws - on energy efficiency and rational use and on renewable energy sources, would soon on the Parliament’s agenda. Mihajlovic highlighted the importance of introducing auction as a completely new and modern type of competition between electricity production companies, also opining that solar power plants, solar panels, wind power plants and biomass should be in greater use for the production of green electricity. Mihajlovic stressed that the new law on renewable energy sources would also include one new provision, that is that each building, company, house, sports hall and factory have solar panels installed to ensure the increased production of green power and reduce the cost of power obtained from dirty sources.
Besides MPs, the meeting was also attended by representatives of non-governmental organizations - members of the National Convention on the EU, the Energy Agency and other representatives of the interested public. Dr Aleksandra Tomic informed them that 23 deputies had signed the Decision on the establishment of the Serbian Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum, so the Forum would continue to operate in the new National Assembly legislature. At the proposal of National Assembly Deputy Speaker Dr Vladimir Orlic, Dr Aleksandra Tomic was unanimously elected Forum Chairperson, as in the previous two National Assembly legislatures. On the occasion, the informal parliamentary group also established its Rules of Operation.
Snezana Petrovic, member of the of the Committee on the Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy, informed the attending about the National Assembly delegation’s participation in the meetings of the Energy Community Parliamentary Plenum in the previous period. She spoke about a number of topics that were discussed at the meetings, held twice a year.
Concluding the founding meeting of the Serbian Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum, Dr Aleksandra Tomic announced that the Forum would have a new meeting in the near future.