ERO Board should be functionalized and mechanisms should be ensured for it to not remain inoperable in the future!

Pristina, October 6, 2017 - Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development (KOSID) requests from the Government of the Republic of Kosovo to proceed as soon as possible with the completion and functionalization of the ERO Board and to put this issue as a priority of this governance.

As it is known, the ERO Board is inoperative since May 15, 2017. ERO is required to have 3 members in order to make decisions. Currently, there are only two members on this board, which makes this board inoperative. KOSID had addressed the same request to the then-running Government, namely the Ministry of Economic Development (MED), on the eve of early national elections, so as not to neglect this procedure, but to respect the legal obligation deriving from the Law Nr. 05 / L-084 on the Energy Regulator and the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Government of Kosovo, the Assembly and the British Embassy and to propose the names based on the public contest that has since been concluded.

Despite our request, it has been 4 months since the institutions have taken no steps in this regard. Although we are aware of recent developments on the political scene, given the delay in voting of the new government and now the appointment procedures of the cabinet, this issue has been neglected without any reason. As we have reasoned in our request at the end of May, the government in charge had all the powers it needed to proceed with the completion of the ERO Board. It should be taken under consideration that there was not even a legal framework that has stopped the previous government to continue these processes as the staff dealing with the interviewing of candidates and other procedures; is a civilian and not a political staff. Since at the time nothing was done, we continue to insist on the relevant institutions to resolve this issue as soon as possible given the great importance of this agency in the energy sector.

Now that the government cabinet has been formed and commissions have been established, there is nothing which stops the process of functionalizing the ERO board. It should start as early as possible the interviewing of candidates from the open public contest since March 2017 as it was foreseen for the selection of two board members. Also, the Government should open the contest as soon as possible to fill the other position, already vacant after the end of the chairman’s mandate, Krenar Bujupi, on May 15, 2017.

The opportunities to suspend the work of ERO as a regulator in the energy sector; the delaying of procedures for selecting members of the ERO board will lead to further delays in matters to which ERO is competent and the country may experience the consequences in the long run. Therefore, we call on the newly elected institutions to prioritize this issue immediately, considering the importance of this regulator. The newly formed government must be shown dedicated to putting all the processes that have remained detained to political issues over the course of four months.

KOSID, through its members in the Assembly, has insisted on establishing legal mechanisms that would foresee, among other things, that the new board of ERO and other regulators be appointed six months before the expiry of the mandate of the existing board. In this way, it ensures the continuity and functionality of this institution, regardless of political and institutional crises. KOSID considers ERO an important actor in the functioning of energy market activities in Kosovo. For this, reforms are needed in the selection of board members, overseeing their work and above all, reforms that would ensure the functionality and continuity in the work of this vital body for the energy market in Kosovo.

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